Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Assembly introduces Bill to declare Cauvery delta a protected agricultural zone

A view of Fort St. George, where the TN Legislative Assembly functions   | Photo Credit: K.V. Srinivasan

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday introduced a Bill in the Legislative Assembly seeking to declare the Cauvery delta region a Protected Special Agriculture Zone (PSAZ), a policy decision which he had announced recently. However, the Bill excluded from its ambit Tiruchi, Ariyalur and Karur districts, which geographically fall within the Delta region. Any ongoing projects / industry function in the proposed PSAZ would not be disturbed.

The Bill said, since certain non-farming activities were adversely affecting agriculture in the region, threatening the State’s food security, “to protect the agriculture in this region, it is proposed to prohibit certain activities in the region.”

The Bill also sought to establish a 30-member Tamil Nadu Protected Agricultural Zone Authority headed by the Chief Minister to advise the government on various measures to protect and improve farming activities to increase farm production and farm productivity to serve the interest of farmers.

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The proposed PSAZ would comprise of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts and five blocks each in Cuddalore and Pudukkottai districts. These areas have been listed under the First Schedule of the Act, to which the government may add or omit any area in the future.

The government has identified zinc smelter, iron ore process plants, copper smelter, aluminium smelter, tannery, and ship breaking industries among others as industries that adversely affect agriculture developments in the PSAZ. This list in the Second Schedule of the Act too, is subject to omission and addition subsequently.

Nothing contained in the legislation shall affect the activities or projects in operation in the protected agriculture zone before the date of coming into force of this Act, one of the provisions of the Bill, stated.

The legislation would not affect infrastructure developments in the protected agricultural zone such as harbour, pipelines, road, telecommunications, power, water supply and other utilities.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 6:25:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-assembly-introduces-bill-to-declare-cauvery-delta-a-protected-agricultural-zone/article30869074.ece

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