Department of Agriculture
Area and Topography
The total Geographical area of the district is around 7011 Sq.Kms. of which except Kalrayan and Gingee Hills the entire District is characterized by plains. Major portion of the plains is utilized for agricultural purpose. In the hilly regions, tree like teakwood, sandalwood, rosewood, etc., are found to be grown. Most of the forest in the District lie in Kallakurichi and Thirukoilur Taluks. On the East, the Bay of Bengal coastline extends to about 30 Kms in Marakkanam and Vanur Blocks.
The soil formation of the district is mainly red soil, sandy loam and block cotton soil.
Gadilam River which flows through Thirukoilur Taluk, Malattar River which joins Gadilam before flowing into the Bay of Bengal, Pennar River which flows through Thirukoilur and Viluppuram Taluks, Sankaraparani River which rises in Gingee Taluk and flows through Viluppuram Taluks are the main rivers flowing through the District. The rivers are only seasonal and none of them is perennial. These rivers could not be used for irrigation purpose to the expected level because of low precipitation.
Ground water potential
As all the rivers are not perennial, greater dependence on ground water is noticed in the District. Out of the 22 Blocks of the District, 12 Blocks are falling under the category of Grey/dark while remaining 10 Blocks are falling under white category. The categorisation of Blocks with respect to the present level of ground water exploitation is given below.
Climate and Rainfall
The maximum and minimum temperature in the district are 36 and 21 degree Celsius respectively. The average rainfall of the district is 1060.30 mm. The rainfall is heavier in the coastal area compared to interior areas. About 93.82% of the normal rainfall is received during the North East and South West monsoon seasons. Normally the district does not get heavy rainfall with the exception of Marakkanam and Vanur blocks. While in Kandamangalam and Kolianur blocks, the rainfall is moderate, it is scanty in Kallakurichi and Sankarapuram Blocks.
As the rivers in the district are not perennial, the major sources of irrigation are tube wells and open dug wells. The net irrigated area in the district is 2.00 lakhs hectares which forms 27.7% of the total area of the district and 49.85% of the net cultivated area of 3.60 lakhs hectares. River irrigation account for less than 5% of the total irrigated area and the district is largely dependent on ground water and tanks. Out of the 2.48 lakh hectare meters of utilizable water recharge around 2.05 lakh hectare meters have already been utilized leaving a balance of 0.43 lakh hectare meter which can be economically exploited. The major sources of irrigation and extent of coverage are given below:
Out of the total land area of 7.22 lakh hectares, an extent of about 3.60 lakh hectares is utilized for cultivation. This about 49.85 of the land area is utilized for cultivation. The waste land (Category 3&5) available in the district is 77810 ha. Vast stretches of waste land are available in Gingee, Kallakurichi, Marakkanam and Vanur blocks.
Hills and Forests
Gingee and Kalrayan Hills are the two hills in the district. Forest areas in the district constitutes about 9.9% of the total area of the district which spread in the areas bordering Salem, Dharmapuri and Thiruvannamalai Districts with divisions of reserve forest, interface forest and social forest. Teak wood, rose wood and sandal wood trees are found to be grown in the hills. In the Kalrayan hills and Gingee areas some medicianal plants are grown. In the social forest areas, trees raised are mainly for firwood and paper making. Babul, Eucalyptus and Casuarine are found to be grown in the district. In some pockets of the district, cashew is also grown.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the people in the district. The major grown in the district are paddy, groundnut, cotton, sugarcane, tapioca and cumbu. The production of some of the major crops with extent coverage is shown below:
The other important crops grown in Viluppuram District are cashewnut, blackgram, guava, banana, turmeric, coriander, brinjal and coconut.
There is a very good scope of development of horticulture in the district. Tapioca and cashew are the most important horticultural crops accounting for major area under horticulture in the district. Through Integrated Horticulture Development Programme, the Department of Horticulture is bringing more areas under horticultural crops. Mango is cultivated mainly in about 561 hectares. Under Central Government aided Cashew Development Programme, plan has been chalked out to increase the area under cashew cultivation.
Since Viluppuram District is predominatly agrarian, plough animals, buffaloes and cows are widely present. There is good scope of dairy development and sheep/goat rearing. The population of major livestock of the district is given below:
In the district around 100 farmers are engaged in Sericulture and about 800 acres are under mulberry cultivation. For sericulture development, there are three technical service centers at Gingee, Ulundurpet and Viluppuram. Besides there are one Government reeling center and a cocoon market at Viluppuram. Silk reeling facilities are to be developed in the district.
The coastal length of the district is about 30 Kms in Marakkanam and Vanur blocks. There are about 19 fishermen co-operative societies covering 20 villages in Viluppuram District. The fishermen population is estimated at 13998 in the district.
The approximate reserves of various types of minerals in the district with the place of occurrence are as under:
The distribution of communication facilities for the district is as follows.
Viluppuram has a telephone exchange with a capacity of 3000 lines with facility to expend to 12000 lines. Further, there is one trunk exchange in the district which covers the entire district. The taluk headquarters of all the eight taluks have been provided with STD facility.
Health care is available through Primary Health Centre, Primary Sub-Centres, Rural Hospitals and Dispensaries. The Health Centres available in the district are:
Viluppuram Distribution Circle distributes power in the district. The circle has been functioning since 1983. In the circle, all towns, revenue villages, hamlets and tribal villages are electrified. Out of the total power consumed in the district about 63% goes to agriculture, about 17% goes to industries and the balance 20% goes to domestic purposes. The details of Viluppuram Distribution Circle are given below:
There are 21 large and medium scale units in the district; majority of them are located in Viluppuram, Tindivanam and Kallakurichi Taluks. There is no industrial estate in the district. Only tiny match sheds constructed by SIDCO are located at Kallakurichi 55 sheds. Thiagadurgam 22 sheds and Tirukoilur 10 sheds. The following proposals are at various level for starting industrial estates in the district.
There are about 6,468 registered SSI units in the district as on 31 March 1999. the group-wise details of these industries are given in the below:
There are 27 regulated markets, 6 marketing societies, 228 PACBs, 3 Farmers' Service Societies (FSS) and 5 Large Sized Adivasi Multipurpose Societies (LAMPS) functioning in the district providing marketing support.