Tamil Nadu

Vellore Central Prison gets more fruit bearing trees

Prison officials led by G.B. Senthamarai Kannan, DIG (Vellore), Prison Department, have started a massive tree plantation drive in the 30-acre farmland within the prison complex, roping inmates and prison staff for the purpose. 

Prison officials led by G.B. Senthamarai Kannan, DIG (Vellore), Prison Department, have started a massive tree plantation drive in the 30-acre farmland within the prison complex, roping inmates and prison staff for the purpose.  | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The 30-acre-farmland inside the spacious Central Prison complex on the Bagayam Main Road in Vellore will soon have more fruit bearing trees within its premises as officials have initiated a massive plantation drive of at least 2,000 saplings, roping in inmates and prison staff in the drive.   Prison officials said at present, the Central Prison complex has a total of 1,350 inmates, including 150 women prisoners in its complex that spreads over 153 acres near the Bagayam reserve forest (RF) on the Arani route. Besides, 250 residential quarters accommodating over 800 families of prison staff also housed within the spacious wooded premises.

The special plantation drive, which was kickstarted by G.B. Senthamarai Kannan, DIG (Vellore), Prison Department, was aimed at increasing the fruit bearing tree cover in the farm area as fruits and vegetables cultivated in the existing farm have helped the prison officials reduce the total purchase of these perishable items for cooking food for inmates and staff by at least 20%.

“The idea is to make the prison self-sufficient on fruits and vegetables rather than procuring it from outside. It also helps inmates nurture their farming skills,” A. Abdul Rahman, Superintendent, Central Prison (Vellore), told The Hindu.   At present, banana, papaya, sugarcane, lemon, jackfruit, coconut, mango, pomegranate and tamarind are cultivated in the farmland inside the prison complex. A small portion of the land is also utilised for paddy cultivation. Along with prison staff, around 15 inmates were taking care of the farm between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day.

Some of the fruit bearing saplings being planted include, almond, tamarind, pomegranate, jackfruit and mango. Further, vegetables like tomatoes, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, brinjal, lady’s finger, apple gourd, drumstick are also being cultivated. Planting saplings of teak and poovarasam is also part of the drive.   Watering will be done through the existing source on the prison premises. Currently, the prison complex has borewells and traditional deep wells — four each. Around four lakh litres of water from these sources were being used for consumption in the complex every day. These water sources help to irrigate the farm and to water the saplings, officials said.  


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Printable version | Aug 1, 2022 5:39:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/vellore-central-prison-gets-more-fruit-bearing-trees/article65480436.ece