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All drought relief works to be over by month-end

By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI, AUG. 19 . A total of 787 out of 897 works launched under the drought relief programme in the district last year (2003-04) have been completed and the remaining 110 works will be completed by the end of this month, the Collector, V.Pandian, said.

Addressing presspersons at the end of a tour of a few major works in parts of Mannachanallur block, the Collector said the works were implemented under the `food for work' scheme of the `Sampoorna Gramin Rojgar Yojana' (SGRY) and its special component.

The Collector said Rs.9.65 crores had been sanctioned under the programme, including 12,809 tonnes of rice equivalent to 75 per cent of the wages in kind, while Rs.2.41 crores was disbursed as wages.

A maximum of 705 works were executed by the District Rural Development Agency, 20 by the Forest Department, 52 by the Agricultural Engineering Department, 54 by the River Conservation Division and 66 works by the Ariyaru Basin Division of the Public Works Department.

The Collector said the works aimed at bringing about long-term benefits to the people, especially with regard to improving the irrigational sources and enhancing the ground water re-charge through the construction of new check-dams and maintenance of existing sources including temple tanks.

The supply channels of the Uppar Dam near Sirupathur had been desilted, up to a length of five km, facilitating the irrigation for an ayacut of about 1,800 acres. A new percolation pond set up at Thirupattur would facilitate storage of 55,130 cubic feet of water.

The Agricultural Engineering Department had completed 52 works at an estimate of Rs.74.70 lakhs. About 1.28 lakh mandays had been generated, benefiting 8,545 agricultural labourers.

The Project Officer, DRDA, M.Manohara Singh, said work on the maintenance of 123 minor irrigation tanks had been completed, while 37 drinking water sources had been created. Construction of `maternity huts', to facilitate the Village Health Nurses to provide maternal care services in remote villages, was another highlight of the programme. He said the `huts', all pucca structures, had been constructed on a trial basis — one each in all 14 block in the district at an expenditure of Rs.one lakh.

Construction of 235 SHG worksheds was another facility under the SGRY, he added.

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