Collector K. Vivekanandan distributed welfare assistance under various schemes to 207 beneficiaries to the tune of Rs. 70 lakh during the mass contact programme held at Sitheri, a hill top village in Dharmapuri district on Friday.

Addressing the special mass contact programme, Mr. Vivekanandan said that the government is implementing various development works to improve the standard of living of the tribals living in Sitheri hills.

The department of Agriculture Engineering is digging irrigation well for the benefit of the tribals.

As the weather is salubrious in Sitheri hills, the tribals should make use of the favourable weather for cultivating pamerosa, vennila and other horticulture products. The district administration is ready to extend a helping hand to the farmers for setting up industries to produce value added products from Samai being cultivated in Sitheri hills in large numbers through nationalised banks.

He also appealed to the tribals to come forward to cultivate mulberry. The district administration will take necessary steps to lay roads and establish new ration shops in Sitheri hills, he added.

Harur MLA P. Dillibabu, Project Director of DRDA C.K. Veerannan, and Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies S. Ramadoss among others participated.

A photo exhibition of the Department of Information and Public Relations was also arranged at the venue.

Later, the Collector inspected digging of farm ponds and wells in Sitheri hills, a release said.