Wednesday, 17 December 2014

More check dams needed: tribal farmers

Silt in existing dams can be used properly

Tribal farmers in the villages dotting Kadambur, Kundri, and Bargur are looking forward to a bountiful crop after a gap of several years, thanks to the heavy spells of monsoon rain.
Scope for remunerative agriculture has now raised expectations among the several hundreds of farmers who have been predominantly cultivating ragi, maize, and tapioca crops in the rainfed fields that the Forest and Public Works departments will get their acts together to construct check dams at suitable locations for sustaining water availability during dry months.
According to farmers, existing check dams scattered in the forest areas in Kadambur, and Kundri hills have not been cleaned for long.
Farmers will be prepared to take the fertile silt deposits if they are given permission, organisations working for their uplift say.
In Bargur hills, for instance, absence of check dams has ruined the economy entirely, forcing the residents to migrate elsewhere to work as labourers.
Only a portion of the run off water from the rain could be harnessed in Gunderipallam and Perumballam dams. More number of check dams are necessary on the hills to ensure socio-economic progress of the agriculturalists, officials acknowledge.
There has been no new proposals for construction of check dams, farmers said.
They expressed the hope that the district administration will prevail upon the Public Works and Forest departments to identify suitable locations where check dams will help farmers to sustain their livelihood on the hills in the long-term.

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