Two watershed projects to be launched today

PATHANAMTHITTA, MARCH 11. The Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Adoor Prakash, will launch two major watershed projects, estimated at Rs. 84 lakhs, in the district on Saturday.

An official press release here says that the proposed Omalloor watershed development project, estimated at Rs. 38.6 lakhs, will cover the catchment areas of the Kurinchar and Kumbickal streams in Omalloor Grama Panchayat limits. The scheme, which will help irrigate not less than 550 hectares of land in the panchayat limits, envisages better agriculture production, besides checking soil erosion and drought.

Digging of pits for rainwater harvesting and construction of retaining walls on the banks of streams will be taken up in different parts of the project area.

K.K. Nair, MLA, will preside over the inaugural meet. The District Collector, Rabeendra Kumar Agarwal; the District Soil Conservation Officer, S. Biju; the District Panchayat member, Omalloor Sankaran; the Omalloor Grama Panchayat President, M.K. Vasu; and the District Planning Officer, K.P. Babu, will speak.

The Minister will launch the Komalamkuzhi watershed development project in Aruvappulam Grama Panchayat limits near Konni in the afternoon. The scheme is expected to irrigate not less than 650 hectares of land, according to official sources.

The project has been included in the Western Ghats Development Project and will be completed in 2006-07.

The scheme aims at rejuvenation of water sources in the catchment areas of Komalamkuzhithode and Appooppanthode.

The panchayat president, V.J. Joseph, will preside over the meet.