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e. Water, Land and

e. Water, Land and Agriculture Water, land and agriculture have strong linkages with poverty reduction. Most poor particularly in the rural areas, rely heavily on natural resources-land, and water and agriculture for their livelihood. Therefore, meeting MDGs will depend in large part as to how the State manages its scare water resources and how it develops effective water governance and improved water supply services. Policies relating to land redistribution and transfers will also play a crucial role. The key issues and challenges relating to water, land and agriculture may be highlighted as follows: 1. Tamil Nadu is a water scare state with per capita water availability of 900 cubic meter (cm) as against the all India average of 2200 cm. The total water resource of the state is 42.23 billion cm (surface water 24.1 bcm and groundwater 23.1 bcm) and the total water demand already exceeds the availability and the deficiency is 307.8 thousand million cubic feet. Agriculture is the largest user (above 90 percent) of water. 2. Most of the water canals are old and have poor efficiency due to seepage, silting in the canals, and poor maintenance. Roughly 2 percent of revenue expenditure of the State is spent on irrigation and only 10 percent of it is spent on maintenance works. The maintenance expenditure is below the norm recommend by the Ministry of Water Resources leading to rapid deterioration of surface irrigation. 3. The share of tank irrigation has declined due to siltation and encroachments in tank beds, damaged sluices, weirs and bunds. Further, the rate of extraction of groundwater exceeds recharge rate in many parts of the state. 4. There are severe water quality problems in several basins due to industrial pollution and agricultural waste (fertilizer and pesticides). In recent years, the State has passed the Ground Water Regulation and Management Act and also enacted an important legislation to require rainwater harvesting system in all buildings to recharge the groundwater and arresting sea water intrusion. 5. Nearly 66 percent of rural habitants are fully covered by rural water supply. Of 718 urban towns, only in 19 municipal towns the water supply is poor (less than 50 litre per capita per day) and in 10 towns it is poor (less than 40 litre per capita per day). It is estimated that a capital investment of Rs. 1932 crore is required to provide access to safe drinking water to all households in the state. 6. Current land distribution and use in Tamil Nadu reflects centuries old policies of settlement and cultivation. Due to land ceiling policy and land to tiller, very large farms disappeared and the average farm size is 0.89 hhectares. About 97 percent 164

holdings are smaller than 4 hectares each. The small holding size sets the limit for investment in farm assets/modern inputs. 7. Of the total land area of 13 million hectares, forest accounts for 16 percent (as against the environmentally desirable norm of 33 percent). Area under current fallow and other fallow is increasing. About 13 percent of area is designated as wasteland. Reclamation of cultivable waste/fallow land will be essential to increase the area under cultivation. 8. Paddy is still the dominant crop accounting for 32 percent of gross cropped area. Sugarcane and groundnut are important commercial crops. Horticulture is raised in 15 percent of gross area. Although the State compares well in term of productivity of many crops with other major states, the productivity of many of these has declined over time. Evidences indicate the presence of yield gap in many major crops. 9. Agriculture is still a dominant private sector providing livelihood for more than 50 percent of people. About 3 million are landless agriculture labourers. The labour productivity in this sector is about 5 times as low as that in tertiary sector. The Government implements a scheme of distributing two acres of Wasteland to Landless Poor Agricultural Labourers. Managing and developing water resources, in the context of its heavy demand form agriculture as well as industry and providing drinking water of acceptable quality and adequate quantity are of critical importance for an MDGs-based strategy of poverty reduction in Tamil Nadu. f. Last Mile Reach Strategies Last mile reach strategies are aimed at catering to those poor who are unable to take full advantage of the general growth processes and fiscal interventions. In order to ensure that they reach minimum acceptable levels of the MDGs, we need specialised programmes, identifying the targeted sections of population, allocate suitable funds, and administer the programmes. While a large array of central and centrally sponsored schemes serve to provide the last mile reach, there are issues about inefficient fund allocation, overlapping and multiplicity of schemes, by-passing of states, and implementation inefficiencies. The central initiatives also need to be complemented by state schemes that cater to their specific needs. In the case of Tamil Nadu, three thrust areas are important: secondary and higher education, tackling urban poverty, and provision of safe drinking water. 165

World Comparative Economic And Social Data
Police Stations - Tamil Nadu Police
N u m b e r o f S c h o o l s - DISE
PDF: 1.0MB - Population Reference Bureau
Census 2011 population of Latur district