SALEM: In a move welcomed by farmers and many political leaders, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, in Salem on Sunday, announced that the Cauvery delta region would be designated as a Protected Special Agriculture Zone (PSAZ) and a law to the effect would be enacted in Assembly soon.
The zone will include Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam districts and the delta regions in Pudukkottai, Cuddalore, Ariyalur and Tiruchy districts.
Palaniswami added that the State government would “never permit projects such as the hydrocarbon project” in TN’s rice bowl. The announcement comes ahead of the State Budget which Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who holds the finance portfolio, will present on February 14.
A PSAZ has been a long-pending demand of farmers’ associations and political parties in TN. In fact, both the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK had assured the designation of the Cauvery delta as a protected zone in their 2019 Lok Sabha election manifestos.
The CM made the announcement after laying foundation stones for the Advanced Institute for Integrated Research in Livestock and Animal Science and a new veterinary medical college near Thalaivasal in Salem district.
The CM said the PSAZ was aimed at protecting the Cauvery delta region for the future, fulfilling TN’s food requirements and ensuring the welfare of delta farmers. “We will discuss with legal experts and bring a separate law to set up the PSAZ. Our government will never give permission for projects such as the hydrocarbon project.
As a farmer, I will never allow projects that would affect farmers to come up,” he said. Instead, the government would encourage the setting up of agri-based industries in the delta region. He said that a research institute for pets would also soon come up in TN. “Opposition parties are spreading rumours but their dreams will not come true,” the CM added.
EPS lays foundation stone for AIIRLIVAS, praises Jaya’s efforts to develop villages
The goal of late CM and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa to develop the State’s village economy would be successfully achieved, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Sunday while laying the foundation stones for the Advanced Institute for Integrated Research in Livestock and Animal Science (AIIRLAS) and a new veterinary medical college in Salem district.
He stated that the government was implementing various welfare schemes for the benefit of farmers and giving importance to cattle rearing, the backbone of village economy. “By initiating a scheme to distribute priceless cows, Jayalalithaa paved the way for a white revolution in the State,” Palaniswami said, giving examples of how beneficiaries of the scheme had prospered.
The AIIRLAS will come up over 1,100 acres at a cost of Rs 1,022 crore. It will have 10 complexes, including an indigenous cattle unit, sheep and goat unit, piggery unit, native dogs unit, animal quarantine and isolation facilities and farm veterinary hospital. This will be the State’s fifth veterinary medical college. Initially, 40 students will be admitted. Later, the intake will be increased to 80 students, Animal Husbandry Minister Udumalai K Radhakrishan said at the function.
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam noted that in “our culture cattle are considered family”. “Without humans, animals can survive, but without animals and birds, humans cannot live,” he said, giving an example from the life of Jayalalithaa.
‘Jaya, the dog lover’
“Former CM J Jayalalithaa reared 14 pet dogs in her home,” Panneerselvam recounted. “When she was CM, she went to Hyderabad. From there she planned to go to Delhi. But at that time, one of her dogs died. Immediately she cancelled her trip and returned to Chennai and buried the dog. She loved pets so much,” he said, making mention of her cow and goat distribution schemes.
Listing the government’s achievements he said that TN came first in enrollment of students in higher education. “The AIIMS is to come up in Madurai and, in single year, Tamil Nadu received approval for 11 new medical colleges,” he said.