TAMIL NADU

Increased target of area of cultivation in Sivaganga district

SIVAGANGA, JULY 24. The district administration has fixed a target to increase the area of cultivation of land to one lakh hectares from 88,000 hectares, following a good rainfall compared to previous four years.

The Collector, Anand Patil, said farmers had already taken up ploughing at various places thanks to the favourable monsoon forecast. The district received 250 mm of rainfall during March, April, May and July. It was better than the previous year rainfall of 190 mm during the same period. The ongoing southwest monsoon benefited groundnut and pulses raised on 4200 hectares and 90 hectares respectively.

The Collector said 250 metric tonnes of seeds had been kept in all agricultural extension centres to facilitate farmers to start nurseries at an appropriate time. The agricultural department had so far sold 18 metric tonnes of seeds. To utilise of northeast monsoon maximum, farmers had been asked to raise ADT 42, Trichy 1, MDU 5, CO 45, CO 47 paddy varieties, which are of shorter duration.

Mr. Patil said the duration of all these varieties was 110 days to 115 days. The Trichy 1 paddy variety could withstand even saline water.

The Thirupattur and Chakkotai block were selected under the Comrehensive Waste Land Development Project. A total of 2,200 hectares of wasteland would be converted into cultivable land. Agriculture department officials had been asked to speed up the wasteland development project, the Collector said.

Thatched roofs

As per the direction of the Government, Mr. Patil said, thatched roofs of all 60 schools, including 54 primary and nursery schools, had already been removed. Most of private schools removed their thatched structures immediately after the Kumbakonam tragedy.

Mr. Patil said the required structures in the place of thatched roofs would be constructed under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan.

The MPs and MLAs of the district would be asked to contribute liberally under the constituency development funds and the local area development funds respectively for the construction of alternate structures in government schools, the Collector said, adding that the Parent Teacher Associations and the public could inform the officials concerned if thatch structure found in school, if any.

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