Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation to operate special buses for the benefit of farmers
TIRUCHI: The change of government has given a fresh lease of life to the `uzhavar sandhais' in Tiruchi. Farmers markets at Manapparai and Thuraiyur in Tiruchi district, which had remained closed during the previous regime, were reopened on Saturday after renovation.
Meanwhile, the `uzhhavar sandhais' at Anna Nagar and K. K. Nagar in the city, which were functional, have also been refurbished. Fresh identity cards have been issued to farmers by the Horticulture Department. Identity cards have been issued to 125 farmers for the Anna Nagar market, which has 106 shops, while the K. K. Nagar shandy with 81 shops would have about 90 farmers. The Manapparai market will function with 52 shops and the one at Thuraiyur will have 40 shops. About 80 farmers have been issued identity cars for each of the market.
About 46 buses would be operated to the four markets to enable farmers to transport vegetables free of cost. Ten buses would be operated to Anna Nagar, seven to K.K.Nagar, 14 to Manapparai and 15 to the Thuraiyur `uzhavar sandhai.'
The District Revenue Officer, P. Senthil Kumar, inspected the two markets in the city on Saturday, while Revenue Divisional Officers, S. Sivarasu and K. Kannan inspected the markets at Manapparai and Thuraiyur respectively.
On the first day of the reopening, over 3,000 kg of vegetables were sold at the two markets each at Manapparai and Thuraiyur. The Anna Nagar `uzhavar sandhai' was the most popular with nearly 18,000 kg of vegetables being sold on Saturday, while at K. K. Nagar about 9,000 kg of vegetables were sold.
The `uzhavar sandhai' was re-opened at Ariyalur on Saturday. Over 30 farmers in and around Ariyalur brought vegetables to the market.
The Perambalur Collector, Anil Meshram, planted a few saplings and purchased some vegetables, to mark the re-opening of the market.
According to an official release, about 2.5 tonnes of vegetables were brought to the market. The Kumbakonam division of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation has introduced bus services on nine routes from various destinations in the vicinity to enable farmers to bring vegetables to the market.
The Joint Director of Agriculture, Ramasamy, and the president of the district panchayat were among those who were present.
Hostels run by the Adi Dravidar Welfare and Backward Classes Welfare Departments in Pudukottai district have been advised to patronise members of the `uzhavar sandhai', Collector Shunjongam Jatak Chiru said on Saturday.
Speaking at a simple function to mark the re-opening of the market at Aranthangi, the Collector said the district administration would take steps for imparting training to farmers to produce quality vegetables and to market them.
The modalities for another plan to market the English vegetables with the involvement of the women members of self-help groups were being worked out. The self-help groups would also market value-added products such as pickles, he said.
The District Revenue Officer, K. Gopalakrishnan, and the Joint Director of Agriculture, Rajaram were among those who were present.
Earlier, the Collector purchased some vegetables marking the re-opening of the market.