TIRUCHI: Towards increasing the green cover and safeguarding the environment, Bharathidasan University will involve over 20,000 NSS volunteers to plant one lakh saplings in 250 villages on October 21 across eight districts in its jurisdiction.

THANJAVUR: The State government has embarked upon reforming the agriculture extension services as part of the measures to upgrade the agriculture sector which is in crisis, said Surjeet K. Chaudhry, Principal Secretary and Special Commissioner, Agriculture Department here on Sunday.

He told presspersons that the reforms would encompass all departments Agriculture, horticulture, seed certification, etc. Computer-enabled extension service has been introduced at the block level.

S. Ganesan

UNCERTAIN TIMES: Farm workers transplanting Kuruvai paddy in Thanjavur district.

TIRUCHI: With water level in the Mettur reservoir falling below the 70 feet mark, farmers in the delta region are anxious over the fate of the kuruvai crop.

Tiruchi Bureau "The basal fertilizer requirement for core delta districts is about 20,000 tonnes' TIRUCHI: Just as kuruvai cultivation is gaining momentum in delta districts, there have been widespread complaints of scarcity of fertilizers. Though the timely release of water has raised farmers' hopes, their biggest worry this season is the scarcity of basal fertilizers, especially Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP). The government has announced that it had already distributed over 22,000 tonnes of DAP, but the complaints persist.

V Mayilvaganan | TNN Thanjavur: An anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centre at the Thanjavur medical college has given expired drugs to at least 60 people living with HIV/AIDS. While experts say it isn't dangerous to take such drugs after the expiry date, some HIV positive people have complained of itching, vomiting and giddiness.

Many farmers have switched over to sericulture from the conventional crops of paddy or groundnut in the central districts in the past two years. This has come in handy for officials of the Sericulture Department, which has planned to increase the area under sericulture in the Cauvery delta districts. Encouraged by the overwhelming response from farmers, the Department has planned to bring an additional 550 acres under sericulture (230 acres in Tiruchi district; 117 in Thanjavur; 65 in Perambalur; 112 in Pudukottai and 26 at the foot of the Pachamalai Hills).

Tamil Nadu reels under a third successive year of drought, and the rural economy is fast drying up as a sixth straight crop failure stares farmers in the face.

Buses in the northern and western parts of the country may soon run on a mixture of diesel and natural gas

LARGESCALE use of CNG as an automotive fuel can give breathing space to people in the heavily-polluted metropolitan cities of India. Motor vehicles are said to be responsible for 60 per cent