Cent per cent subsidy for renovating old wells proposed

Pondicherry Oct. 10. The Pondicherry Administration has drawn up plans to offer cent per cent subsidy to those renovating old and virtually dilapidated wells to harvest rainwater in villages, the Agriculture Minister, A. Namassivayam, said today.

Inaugurating a campaign to propagate the rainwater harvesting technology at Bahoor, near here, organised by the Agriculture department, the Minister, said a maximum subsidy of Rs. 15,000 would be available for rejuvenating the wells.

Private organisations or industrial entrepreneurs coming forward to construct the RWH structure on their premises would be sanctioned Rs. 75,000 against Rs. 20,000 originally planned by the administration.

Asserting that the Union Territory's Tenth Plan accorded priority for harvesting rainwater to strengthen the sub-soil water table, Mr. Namassivayam said that already the PWD was strengthening the water bodies on an outlay of Rs. 35 crores provided by the European Economic Commission. Eighty-four 84 tanks and water resource centres were being desilted. The desilting works in some of the tanks had a positive impact, as rainwater storage was satisfactorily achieved.

Fifteen government-owned buildings had been taken up for construction of structures to harvest rainwater this year, he said.

Demonstration plots to encourage drip irrigation system for conserving water was proposed to be set up on 100 acres to draw the attention of sugarcane farmers on the utility of the system.

Approval of the Lt. Governor had been obtained to construct community borewells at Sitheri Thaangal, Keezh Parikalpet and Maduvupet at Krimambakkam to ensure sustained irrigation for paddy crop in the Bahoor block.

The Minister expressed concern at the depletion of sub-soil water in some areas.

This should be remedied without delay, he said.

The Director of Agriculture, Sathiaseelan, spoke on the importance of the awareness campaign.

The government whip, P. Rajavelu, who presided, highlighted the importance of harvesting rainwater, so that water starvation could be avoided in future.