After Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had declared delta districts as drought-hit and sanctioned Rs 2.70 crore to dig 601 farm ponds in eight panchayat unions, the works for them have progressed fast.
The digging works undertaken by the farmers employed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) will be completed shortly.
According to the Agriculture officials, the ponds will be constructed at the area located by the farmers in their land. These farm ponds will help in increasing the groundwater level and will be useful to get water during summer. This apart, the farmers can maintain fish farming activities in the ponds to get additional income.
The expenditure of making the ponds ranges from Rs 4500 to Rs 1.50 lakh.
“So far, we have created 232 ponds to the tune of Rs 1.05 crore in Anthanallur, Manikandam, Tiruverumbur, Manachanallur, Lalgudi, Pullambadi, Musiri and Thottiyam. Out of the 232 ponds, 220 ponds are constructed in an estimated cost of `45,000 category while 12 ponds were constructed to the tune of Rs 1.50 lakh”, said District Rural Development Agency Project Director K Radha.
He also said that through the project 32 Adi Dravidars and 192 tiny and small farmers are benefited in the district. “Other pond works would be completed shortly”, said Radha and added that the interested farmers can contact the DRDA office in Tiruchy or the offices of the respective panchayat unions.
Meanwhile, the officials said that the State government had disbursed a crop damage compensation of Rs 33.12 crore for 24,974 farmers from the district who met more than 50 per cent crop loss.