Things to know about the Act that Declared Cauvery Delta as Protected Agricultural ZoneGokul Saravanan (Author) Published Date : Feb 21, 2020 12:41 IST
Tamil Nadu Assembly has Finally passed the Bill to Declared the Cauvery Delta Region as Protected Agricultural Zone on February 20, 2020. Chief Minister of the state, Edappadi K Palaniswami, has already made an announcement a few days back that the delta regions like Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Karur, Pudukottai, Ariyalur, and Trichy will be brought under Protected Agricultural Zone.
On Thursday, the CM in the state Assembly passed the Bill of declaring only Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, and Nagapattinam districts as a protected zone. When the opposition parties asked about the status of the rest of the delta regions like Karur, Ariyalur, and Trichy, CM stated that the rest three regions have a lot of industrial processes in them, and they couldn't be brought under the protected zone. He also stated that there would be many legal issues if the rest three were converted to a protected zone.
What is the Protected Agricultural Zone?
As a definition, Protected Agricultural Zone is a region where all the developments and governmental actions should gain more momentum to the agriculture and agricultural production rather than other sectors. Now, though CM Edappadi Palaniswami calls this Bill a historic, it is vital to know what are the changes the Bill will bring in to that protected zones in the near future.
Since the Act gets into the action, the Protected Agricultural Zone will not allow setting up industries that smelting metals like Copper, Aluminium, Zinc, Iron, and Steel.
The region will be prohibited for animal bone, horn, and skin processing industries also for the ship breaking industries.
Explorations for natural gases, like hydrocarbon, coal, and oil, will also be prohibited in that region.
Amidst of these restrictions, the new Act will not affect the infrastructure and developmental works like road and transportation, telecommunication, electricity, harbor developing, laying pipelines, and water distribution work.
What are the Protected Agricultural Zones of Tamil Nadu?
So far, along with the regions of Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, and Nagapattinam, some parts of Pudukottai and Cuddalore regions were also added to the protected zone.
Kattumannarkoil, Melbhuvanagiri, Parangipettai, Keerapalayam, Kumaratchi, Aranthangi, Avudaiyarkoil, Manamelkudi, Thiruvarankulam and Karambakudi are the add-on regions of Cuddalore and Pudukottai districts to the Protected Zone.
Though this act concerns explicitly only about the upcoming projects, it doesn't talk about the existing projects, which are already proceeded and processing, in the Protected Agricultural Zone.
Implementing the Act to Protect the Agriculture in Delta Region:
To implement the Act, a governmental body will be constituted and lead by the CM himself. The executive body will include the VC of TNAU, two MLAs and one MP, at least one expert in each relevant fields like animal husbandry, agriculture, horticulture, and veterinary sciences, and three farmer representatives.
A district-level committee will also be organized under the district collectors along with an official from forest, electricity, and water department. This district-level committee will assist the state-level committee in implementing the act.
Is it a Political Strategy?
To become a protected zone was the long-pending request of the people of the delta region where agriculture is the prominent and primary source of economy and livelihood. At last, after many protests and petitions, the government has just gifted the Protected Zone to the people while the general election is just approaching ahead. Though it may look like a strategy of the ruling party, it is welcoming for the farmer community of the state.