The Tamilaga Vivsayigal and Thozhilalargal Munnetra Iyakkam has appealed to the State government to ban sand quarrying totally between June and January and during the monsoon seasons. During other periods, only dry sand should be quarried, that too only through local panchayats, it pleaded.

In a statement, Marudur M. Shanmugham, founder of the farmer association, said it was because of indiscriminate sand quarrying that the Cauvery had virtually been ravaged.

Rainwater harvesting, installing pumpsets, generators and RO systems, part of the plan

A Rs.40-crore contingency plan has been worked out to face the impending water scarcity during summer, the District planning Committee was informed on Thursday. Rajendra Prasad, Assistant Director, Panchayats, said that apprehending serious drinking water shortage during March-April, District Collector Jayashree Muralidharan had utilised various funds solely for tackling the issue. As much as Rs.37 crore had already been spent for drinking water facilities alone.

Even as the February 4 deadline for food business units to register themselves under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 is fast approaching, the district administration organised a rally in the city on Wednesday to sensitise traders to the need to register under the Act immediately.

All food business operators with a turnover of Rs.12 lakh should obtain licence from the designated officer and those with turnover of below Rs.12 lakh should register themselves with the respective food safety officer as per the provisions of the Act.

Plans on to construct check dams, recharge and village ponds at a cost of Rs.1.65 crore

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has called for intensive water and soil conservation/harvesting efforts in some blocks and other promotional efforts in Tiruchi district. In its Potential Linked Credit Plan, the bank points out that the Cauvery is the most important river in the district irrigating 52,125 hectares. Besides, there are 75 system tanks and 99 seasonal/rainfed tanks that cover 5,751 hectares and 9,164 hectares. Net irrigated area in the district is 99,082 hectares.

Only 5,500 units have complied with the requirement so far

Even as the February 4 deadline for food business units to register themselves under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 is fast approaching, just about 5,500 units have complied with the requirement in the district so far. According to estimates, about 14,000 units are engaged in the food sector in the district. Of these, about 4,000 would require licence and the rest would have to be registered.

One measure adopted was to extend the Health Department’s surveillance from government health institutions alone to include private hospitals capable of treating the disease.

From a level of 22 fresh cases every single day during the months of September to November last year when the epidemic was peaking in the city, incidents of dengue have come down to between zero and two per day during the first week of January.

A plea to the district authorities to check over exploitation of ground water by a bottling plant at Suriyur in Tiruverumbur union on the outskirts was made at the district panchayat council meeting on Thursday.

Raising the issue at the council meeting, chaired by T.Rajathi, chairperson, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam member Chithravel alleged that though the unit was said to be only a bottling plant, it was tapping ground water heavily using six borewells for manufacture of soft drinks.

Consultative meet of presidents on panchayat administration

A group of panchayat presidents, including women and Dalit presidents, have called upon the government to appoint full-time resource support groups at the block level and full-time project officers at the district and block levels dedicated to oversee the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

Rs.1.95 crore allotted for installing 865 solar streetlights

About one-third of streetlights in the panchayats in the district are likely to be converted into solar-powered ones over the next four years. Solar-powered streetlights were being installed in the panchayats under a special scheme announced by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa through the rural development department.

With just five days left for registering for the agricultural insurance, farmers who have taken land on lease are in a quandary as to whether they will be benefited anyway by the insurance for which the State Government is prepared to pay the entire premium. With prospects for samba crop looking bleak, this assumes great significance.

Leasing cultivable land is a common practice. Besides, there is another system called “vaaram” under which the landowner shares the cost of cultivation.

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