Chennai, July 23
The Tamil Nadu Government plans to create terminal markets for agriculture produce with necessary infrastructure in three places, to eliminate post-harvest loss and ensure remunerative prices to farmers.
These markets will have facilities such as collection centres, pre-cooling equipment, sorting and treatment facilities, and electronic auction. They will be established in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai, according to the State Finance Minister, Mr K. Anbazhagan.
Presenting the 2006-07 budget, he said these markets will provide good export opportunities besides enhancing marketing prospects for agricultural produce.
He said cold storage facilities will be created for onion in Palladam in Coimbatore district, for mangoes in Krishnagiri district, and for grapes at Odaipatti in Theni district to enable export of these produce.
The Government will also take action to produce ethanol in all sugar mills for blending it with petrol. Farmers will be encouraged to cultivate sweet sorghum and sugar beet as these can also be used for producing ethanol.
Mr Anbazhagan said the Government had decided to implement a metro rail project for Chennai, while the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and Tamil Nadu Housing Board had initiated action to create satellite towns.
On seawater desalination project to provide drinking water for Chennai, the Minister said negotiations would be carried out with the contractor selected by the previous government to revise the terms in favour of the Government.
Financial assistance under viability gap funding from the Union Government will be sought for this project. Another desalination project will also implemented in Chennai with the Centre's assistance.