The major thrust during this plan period is given for area development. Soil erosion was identified as the major problem deteriorating the area development due to improper drainage pattern, unscientific agricultural practices etc., Due to the problem of exposing of the top soil often without adopting the slope percentage in cultivating practices, the top fertile soil is often washed away during floods and rainy season, posing a major threat of landslides and decreased crop yields. The heavy usage of chemical fertilisers and pesticides constantly threaten the ecology besides heavy expenditure incurred for landslide treatments. When natural disasters are unavoidable, the damages to the fragile ecology of Nilgiris caused should be minimised.
Therefore, integration of the activities of the core departments along with other line departments to stabilise the ecology is given prime importance apart from involving the local people along with Non-Governmental agencies.
Soil Conservation works such as River Widening Works, Staggered trenching with vegetative measures, Drainage Line Treatment works with vegetative measures, Water Harvesting Structures, Stream draining Works etc., are the important works taken up during the plan period strictly on watershed basis, so as to ensure the saturation of the watersheds with the soil conservation activities. In respect of Landslide treatment works, adequate care is taken to avoid Masonry works as far as practicable and to take up vegetative barrier based works through Gabion structures, which is more economic than masonry structures.
In respect of Forestry works, taking up afforestation works in the denuded hills, development of shola forests, fuel wood plantations in the village porambokes, second storey firewood plantations, road side avenue plantations are given top priority apart from other regular forestry programmes.
Regarding Horticulture, tea cultivation and eco-friendly vegetable cultivation have been taken up. Schemes such as floriculture, rejuvenation of Mandarin Oranges, Mushroom cultivation, Development of area under arecanut and other economic plantations are also given adequate importance to provide economic stability. Research and development of infrastructure for development of horticultural are also given importance. An introduction is made to bring maximum area under organic farming.
The programme also lays focus on the other need-based sectors like Roads, Development of Local Bodies, Welfare of SC/ST, INDCO Tea Factories, Human Resources Development, Animal Husbandry & Dairy Development, Medical and Public Health, Minor Irrigation, Tourism etc..
The proposals for the year 2005-2006 (i.e the 4th year of the Tenth Five Year Plan period) has been formulated for an outlay of Rs. 2210.00 lakhs.