Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said on Thursday that the Bhumi Sena scheme for reclamation of barren, ravenous and usar (alkaline soils) land will help increase the State’s area under cultivation. The Chief Minister said not only will landless farmers benefit, the State’s agriculture production will also increase.
Mr. Yadav, who launched the Bhumi Sena scheme for the fiscal 2013-14 at a function held at his 5, Kalidas Marg official residence on Thursday, was hopeful that barren and flood-affected land would be put to better use.
The Bhumi Sena scheme aimed at benefitting landless and small farmers by making barren and usar land fit for agricultural purposes was first launched by former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav in 1990. Mr. Akhilesh Yadav said the scheme launched by “Netaji” would be taken forward.
Around 35,000 hectares of barren, rugged, flood-affected and ravenous land was repaired and restored for farm purposes in 2012-13. Approximately, 70,000 small, marginal and average farmers were benefitted and 11,354 farmers were given “pattas” (land deeds) of the land restored by them. This involved a cost of Rs. 50 crore.
Around 25,000 landless labourers were provided employment. A target of reclaiming 44,000 hectares of barren, usar and ravenous land has been fixed for 2013-14 under the Bhumi Sena scheme. As per the directives of the Chief Minister, 10 districts have been selected for “cluster approach”, wherein clusters of land would be chosen for reclamation.
Apart from the launch of the Bhumi Sena scheme, the Chief Minister handed over Letter of Intent (LOI) to seven private players for generating 130MW megawatt of power by tapping solar energy. Referring to the solar energy policy, Mr. Yadav said he was hopeful that it was a positive step towards getting investment in the State.