Chennai: The state agriculture department which used Google maps to assess the sea water intrusion in Cuddalore district last year had successfully brought back irrigation near Vallar river mouth, this January. Construction of new check dams regulating hydrology flow and reclamation of soil has restored cultivation in 1,500 acres of land in Chidambaram taluk and the agriculture-engineering department is now on video shooting spree-taking documentaries to educate farmers on land reclamation.
The first set of such video documentaries had now reached the power corridors of secretariat. “Gone are the days where the agriculture department officials would sit for hours and conduct field inspections to study the issues of farmers and soil fertility. In the age of digital media, government officials attached to agriculture department are now trained on Google images, Whatsapp communication, short film production on ploughing and conducting lab studies on soil fertility and we are now campaigning on prevention of sea water intrusion,” said an official attached to the agricultural engineering department.
Salt intrusion in to the cultivable lands of Chidambaram and Cuddalore had been an issue since 2004 Tsunami and now with the agriculture department constructing check dams to arrest sea water intrusion and enhance fresh water storage, farming is back in our village, says Syed Shoukath, a farmer of Killai Peruratchi in Cuddalore. Rough sea invading paddy field is a regular phenomenon affecting farming and now with agriculture engineering department focusing on fresh water management and micro management of soil nutrient, the quality of crops raised in Ponnanthittu coastal area has improved, said farmer K. Selvan of Cuddalore.
“Based on the success of land reclamation more such tail end of the Cauvery delta region will be adopted by agriculture department and there are areas where irrigation is practiced as close to 100metres from the sea,” said a senior official adding that the project will complete for a few more pockets in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam areas....