Special Correspondent

VILLUPURAM: Collector R. Palanisamy has urged farmers to adopt the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) to improve yield and earnings.

He was speaking at a special mass contact programme held in Chinnababusamudhram near here on Thursday.

Mr. Palanisamy said the system required less water, manpower and seeds, but the yield would be one-and-half times that of traditional farming practices.

He said mass contact programme was now being held on a rotation basis in the panchayats to cover the entire rural population. Officials would be visiting the villages to create awareness of welfare programmes.

For want of information, people did not know how to get their grievances redressed or benefit from welfare programmes.

Their petitions were rejected because they were not approaching the right departments.

To set right such a lacuna, the officials were giving an elaborate account of the programmes being implemented by their respective departments during the mass contact sessions, Mr. Palanisamy said.

Of 257 petitions received on the occasion, the officials accepted 124 and kept 69 under scrutiny. Earlier, he inspected the progress of stormwater drainage work at the new bus stand in Villupuram. The Rs.1.25-crore project was progressing well and the civil works almost complete, Mr. Palanisamy said.

The machinery for draining stormwater ought to come from Pune and until its arrival, locally available machinery would be put to use, he said.

In Cuddalore

In Cuddalore district, of 286 petitions received during the mass contact programme held at Kaattuparur, Collector P. Seetharaman accepted 56 petitions. The remaining would be acted upon after scrutiny.

Mr. Seetharaman said that a community hall would be built at Kaattuparur and bus services improved. He gave away welfare assistance to the tune of Rs. 7.14 lakh to 733 beneficiaries.