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‘DRDA plans to dig 4,000 farm ponds this year’

Special Correspondent
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Work on in 94 ponds and initial digging over in 34 ponds, involving MGNREGS workers

MGNREG scheme workers at Sathyanagar oorani in Alankulam Panchayat in Ramanathapuram.
MGNREG scheme workers at Sathyanagar oorani in Alankulam Panchayat in Ramanathapuram.

The District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) has proposed to dig 4,000 farm ponds, plant 3.5 lakh tree saplings and build service centres in the panchayat and block levels in the district during this year, involving the workers of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

Talking to reporters during a field visit in the Mandapam block, K Paramasivan, Assistant Project Officer (Wage and employment) DRDA said MGNREGS workers would be involved in carrying out various works at a total cost of Rs. 182.90 crore during 2013-14 and an amount of Rs. 62 crore had already been spent.

He said the workers would be involved in the initial digging of the farm ponds to a depth of 1.5 feet, after which, the 4,000 ponds with a depth of 5 feet would be completed by the Agriculture Engineering department.

Work has commenced in 94 ponds and initial digging has been completed in 34 ponds after administrative sanction was granted for 983 ponds, he said. “We will be involving 1.60 lakh workers in the initial digging of the farm ponds at the rate of 40 workers per pond,” he also said. Besides, the workers would also be involved in planting 3.5 lakh saplings in 737 habitations, planting of 1.11 lakh “Naattu karuvai” saplings in beds of tanks in 100 hectares, building 224 village panchayat service centres and five block service centres, he said.

After the 3.5-lakh sapling tree planting scheme was launched on August 15, 500 saplings had been planted in Pasumpon village in the first phase, he said. K.Hemalatha, Assistant Engineer, Mandapam said that in the cleaning of the jungles at the Keezhanagachi horticulture farm unit-II, the MGNREGS workers, were paid full wage Rs. 148 a day. The 15-acre farm was cleaned up by these workers, she added.

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