Published On:July 14 2017
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Centre of Excellence for Biotechnology to come up in Coimbatore.
Establishing a Centre of excellence for bio-technology at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University at Coimbatore, cultivation of grafted varieties of horticultural crops in 11,250 acres, setting up a separate battalion called ‘Tamil Nadu Disaster Rescue Force’ in police and providing solar powered pump sets to 1,000 farmers were among the key announcements made by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami under Rule 110 in the State Assembly.
He said considering the severe drought in the State, the State government decided to implement a scheme to cultivate high-yielding grafted vegetables like tomato, brinjal and lady’s finger in 22 districts. These vegetables could be cultivated with less water and give reasonable profit to farmers. The government would allocate Rs. 9 crore towards this, which would benefit 2,250 farmers. Further, seeds of grafted varieties of vegetables and seedlings would be provided to farmers at 50 per cent grant.
Considering the increasing need for solar-powered pump sets, 1,000 farmers would be given these pump sets with 90 per cent grant during the current year, the chief minister said and added that Rs. 29 crore would be earmarked for this. During the past four years, 2,826 solar-powered pump sets had been installed.
Chief minister announced that a Centre of Excellence for Biotechnology would be established at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University at a cost of Rs. 430 crore. Preliminary works for it would be undertaken at a cost of Rs. 51 crore.
Renovation of 160 agricultural extension centres at an expenditure of Rs 48 crore, creating infrastructure facilities, including seed hubs at agricultural colleges at Coimbatore and Killikulam in Thoothukudi district, Periyakulam horticultural college, Forest College and Research Institute at Mettupalayam, National Pulses Research Centre at Vamban, Cuddalore Sugarcane research station, horticultural research station at Udhagamandalam at a cost of Rs 108 crore and filling up of 430 Assistant Agricultural Officers vacancies were the other announcements.
To reach the areas affected by disaster quickly and to help the people, a new battalion, Tamil Nadu Disaster Response Force (TNDRF), would be created in the State police force. Nearly Rs 5 crore would be granted for buying rescue equipment.
Besides, Rs. 52.40 crore would be allocated for buying modern communication gadgets and rescue and searching equipment for Chennai Corporation, fire and rescue services department, Metrowater, Coast Guard, forest department, PWD, Home Guards, highways department and district collectors.
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS