MANIFESTO FOR ELECTIONS TO TAMILNADU LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY(2)

25/02/2016
  1. AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION

The government will procure all the vegetables that could not be sold to the public from producers at a guaranteed price of Rs.10/- per kg for tomato and Rs.15/ per kg for brinjal. Rates will be fixed for other vegetables treating these as base prices. Procurement price for paddy will be fixed at Rs.1800 per quintal. The prices of agricultural produce are very low and unremunerative and there is a need to increase the prices.

The wages of unskilled agricultural and other laborers have gone up from Rs.35 per day to Rs.150 per day in the last few years for women and from Rs.70 per day to Rs.350- Rs.400 per day for men. This is a welcome correction of wage level. The employers have got used to this high wage level. Similarly consumers will get used to higher prices of agricultural produce particularly since our government will provide jobs to all able bodied and willing people by undertaking massive works like digging lakes, canals, wells, laying roads,  power transmission lines, solar power stations, hydro-electric power stations etc.

government would set up a separate Ministry for irrigation. In addition to constructing new dams and canals, this ministry would have the following responsibilities;

i.Linking rivers in the state.

iii.Creating links among lakes and between lakes and rivers.

  1. looking after the Lake management including deepening lakes and continuously desilting them
  2. Creating new lakes to ensure that each village has a lake
    vi. Looking after Water management including draining rain water in pits and other shallow water into the nearby lakes. Water left in pits evaporates and it does not recharge ground water. When lakes have sufficient water, underground water will be recharged.

vii. Keeping the lakes and rivers clean

viii. Cleaning waste water and then using the same for irrigation without letting into the lake. This will ensure that lake water is not contaminated and this water can be used for drinking after purification.

  1. Cleaning river banks and ensuring that no garbage is dumped there
  2. Sanctioning loans for digging irrigation wells including bore wells. If lakes have water, digging wells will not lower the water table. It is wrong to ban new bore wells,
  3. Tamilnadu receives around 100 cm of rainfall per year on an average. If the rainwater is harvested to the maximum extent possible, two- three crops can be raised in most of the places. Tamilnadu will become surplus in food grains under our government.

xiii. While supplying water to people from reservoirs/rivers hundreds of kilometres away is welcome, this is not as reliable a source as local lake water.

xiii. Each district would have a senior water resources development officer with technical staff and with adequate powers to sanction construction of lakes and related work

The per capita production of food grains (rice, wheat, coarse grains and pulses) in India is less than 200kg per year while in the world it is over300 kg. This means that India’s performance in agriculture needs to be improved vastly. In India among the various states, Tamilnadu’s performance is very poor. During 2009-10, India produced 218 million tonnes for a population of around 1180 million. The per capita production is about 185 kg per year. Tamilnadu state produced about 8.0 million tonnes for a population of about 67 million people, which works out to a per capita production of only 120kg per year.

India’s production went up from 176 million tonnes in 1990-91 to 218 million tonnes in 2009-10 which works out to about 24%increase in 20 years. This increase itself is low. But increase in Tamilnadu is very much lower at 8% from 7.4 million tonnes in 1990-91 to only 8.0 million tonnes in 2009-10.

With the policies of our government, agricultural production will increase atleast by 100% in 5 years.

Water is a renewable resource. The ground water automatically gets recharged as it rains and there is no problem in exploiting ground water. There is no question of excessive exploitation as once the water dries underground there can be no exploitation. Moreover, the dangers of flood will be minimized when there are more open and borewells and lakes as the recharge of ground water and lakes will take much of rain water leaving lesser water to flow into the rivers.

Subsidies to farmers will be gradually reduced; if necessary by increasing the prices of their produce.

restrictions on exploitation of ground water will be removed.

To meet the labour shortage in agricultural sector, there will be further mechanization-in sowing, planting, weeding, harvesting, thrashing etc.

Restrictions on farmers and others for removing soil from the lakes for use in fields, brick kilns etc. and the lakes will be removed as this will lead to desilting of lakes free of cost.

While the quantum of rainfall in a year has not changed much, the rainfall has not been timely. In order to ensure timely rainfall, it would be useful to resort to cloud seeding and simultaneously to undertake research on refining the existing technology to achieve lower cost, safety, avoid pollution, avoid lower rains during the period subsequent to cloud seeding. Research by as many universities as are willing would also be funded by the government. Cloud seeding is not new to Tamilnadu, as it had already undertaken several times in the past starting from 1960s in Nilgiris district, though there was a long break after 1960s. Several countries, particularly in Asia like Thailand, China etc are resorting to cloud seeding. Each district would have one organization to undertake this operation. It can be a public or private organization.

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Agriculture- Bangladesh performs better than India

12/10/2013

According to FAO, India has arable land of 157 million hectares(ha). It has a population of about 1250 million people. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 8 persons.

Bangladesh has arable land of 7.7.million ha and a population of about 155 million. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 20 persons i.e. about 2.5times that of India.

Bangladesh annually produces about 51 million MT of food grains, mostly paddy(not rice).i.e. about 330kg per head per year while India annually produces about 280 million MT(paddy taken into account- not rice)i.e. only about 225kg per head per year. It is strange that even with low per capita production India occasionally exports food grains while Bangladesh imports food grains.

Bangladesh receives rainfall of about 265 cm annually while India receives only about 110 cm of rainfall. But low production of grains in India is not due to shortage of water,It is due to under utilization of water as can be seen from the very large quantity of river water joining the sea in various parts of India.There shold be more lakes and dams in India and river and rain water should be drained in these lakes and dams .

Bangladesh takes two/three crops in a years on larger proportion of land than India. Average paddy yield in Bangladesh is also high at around 4.3 MT/ha while in India it is about 3.5 MT/ha. Thus while on an ha of arable land Bangladesh produces about 6.5 MT of food grains, India produces only about 1.8 MT(India produces coarse grains on rain fed areas where the yield is very low and this brings down annual production on an ha of land.

India needs to spend more time and energy on finding ways for better utilization of rain/river water -by linking rivers with rivers, rivers with lakes, recharging ground water etc.


Water- renewable resource

29/09/2012

Serious concerns are expressed on looming water shortages for domestic, agricultural, industrial and other uses as well as “over exploitation of sources of ground water”. These concerns seem to be unwarranted.

Water is a renewable resource. There are news items about a number of places,provinces and countries receivig highest raifall this year, witnessing wettest August, or September etc. The gound water automatically gets recharged as it rains and there is no problem in exploiting ground water. There is no question of excessive exploitation as once th water dries under ground there can be no exploitation. Moreover,the dangers of flood will be minimised when there are more open and borewells and lakes as the recharge of ground water and lakes will take much of rain water leaving lesser water to flow into the rivers.


Construction of Lakes should be the top priority

04/07/2011

The top priority for any state government in India, particularly those in the south, should be construction of lakes on a large scale, not only to dam rivulets but also to drain rainwater from ditches and pits into the lakes. Tamilnadu receives around 100 cm of rainfall per year on an average. If the rainwater is harvested to the maximum extent possible, two- three crops can be raised in most of the places. Tamilnadu will become surplus in food grains.

During rainy season in October-December, one finds water everywhere(i.e.on very large area), stagnating in shallow ditches. This water evaporates in 15-20 days once the rainy season ends, without being of any use for cultivation as the water is not deep enough to recharge ground water. If this water is drained into deep lakes to be constructed, the evaporation will be less and the ground water will be recharged. Around the lakes, one can get water in the wells at a depth of 20-25ft. While rains will be more or less enough to raise one crop, well water will help raise 1-2 crops.

Lake water can also be a reliable source of drinking water for people of villages around the lakes. While supplying water to people from reservoirs/rivers hundreds of kilometres away is welcome, this is not as reliable a source as local lake water.

Each district should have a senior water resources development officer with technical staff and with adequate powers to sanction construction of a lake and related work


Global Warming or Weather Extremes

17/09/2009

In the last few years, particularly in the last 3 -4 years, we get the news that several parts of the world had the hottest day in 50 years, 70 years or even in recorded history. This has led people to conclude that there is global warming and that the ice at the poles would melt, leading to the submerging of several island countries. The conclusion is incorrect.

During this same time period, we also read news that several parts of the world experienced the coldest day in several decades or even the coldest day in recorded history. This means that what we witness now is not global warming but rather weather extremes. While estimating the increase in the volume of sea water and rise in sea level, the following need to be kept in mind.

  1. When it is hot in the northern hemisphere, it is cold in the southern hemisphere. Thus the snow melting is restricted to just 50% of the area of snow
  2. When snow melts, the volume of the melted snow, i.e water comes down by around 10%.
  3. During summer, when snow melts and raises sea water level, there is substantial evaporation of sea water leading to lowering of sea water level. Evaporation has been calculated to be higher than the quantum of flow of river water into the sea.
  4. With increased use of surface water, the flow of water into the sea from the rivers is decreasing steadily.
  5. With increasing exploitation of ground water, seepage of seawater into the earth takes place, reducing sea water level.

Based on these points, the consequences of ”global warming” is not so alarming as is made out by some scientists or experts.

However, it has to be noted that the rivers bring into the sea not only water, but also mud, sand, salt and minerals which, get deposited into the sea, thus reducing the quantum of water which the sea can hold. Dredging to the extent possible, extraction of minerals, desalination of sea water for irrigation purposes as well as for other uses including industrial use would all serve to reduce sea water level.