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Orchards to be raised in one lakh acres

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: In a decision to give boost to horticulture sector, the government announced that orchards will be raised in an extent of one lakh acres during 2010-11.

The target to raise new fruit gardens will be met through convergence of schemes under the National and State Horticultural Missions, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and NREGS during 2010-11.

The decision was taken in a review meeting held by Chief Minister K. Rosaiah with Agriculture and Horticulture Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy and officials on Thursday. Mr. Rosaiah also directed the officials to extend drip and sprinkler irrigation to three lakh more acres under the AP Minor Irrigation Project during the year. This would be in addition to the 11 lakh acres covered by drip irrigation during the last six years.

The Chief Minister also approved for transfer of surplus staff in Sericulture Department to Horticulture by September. At district-level, horticulture departments hereafter would be headed by Deputy Directors instead of Assistant Directors.

Giving details later, Mr. Raghuveera Reddy said the Chief Minister also gave clearance for filling 89 vacant posts in Horticulture Department. The posts could not be filled despite sanction due to a litigation which would be now referred to the Advocate General for early resolution. In the meantime, posts would be filled on outsourcing basis.

The Chief Minister also cleared the proposal of the Horticulture University for recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff . He directed officials to release Rs.24 crore immediately for clearing pending bills.

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