The decades of land reclamations

Aldona Ramanauskienė

People in the pre-war independent Lithuania had already used to put in order the wet and bogged land plots, river and spring banks and adjacent areas, they deepened the stream channels. This used to be done by workers, which in Kupiškis area were called “zimagorai”. All such works were done by them using simple hand tools, such as spades, and the drain pipes they laid were wooden. These works were very expensive, thus only landlords could hire workers for this purpose.

About 1910, the first land draining projects started to be elaborated for Kupiškis area.

The Lithuanian State, starting from the 1930s, began taking care about the quality of farmer’s land, and it allocated rather large credits for the land reclamation.

In 1953, the MTS (Machine Tractor Station) was established in Noriūnai, and the next one, the Skapiškis MTS, was formed in Naiviai the same year. To drain the land, powerful machinery increasing in number each year was used.

In 1958, the MTS was reorganised into RTS (Wheeled Tractor Station). On January 30, 1959, the Kupiškis MMS (Reclamation Machine Station) was established with Noriūnai to become the centre of the enterprise, where machines, tractors and various equipments were gradually increasing in number. Educated specialists worked there. Administration was taking care about their life conditions, and blocks of flats were being constructed for them. The enterprise was renamed again, now into the Reclamation Construction Board.

In 1973, about 33 000 hectares of land have been reclaimed in the Kupiškis District. For the results reached in 1976, the Noriūnai workers were given the Red Flag of the Reclamation and Water Ministry. Many workers were decorated with orders and medals.

An auxiliary farm was set up with allocation of 96 hectares of land and grasslands. Animals were also grown. The production reached the diner of the reclamation workers and a kindergarten.

After two decades passed from the establishment of this enterprise, the Noriūnai settlement of reclamation workers expanded significantly. Many blocks of flats, a shop, a post office, a kindergarten, a school, garages are built, the old house of the Board is restored, and work and rest conditions are improved. A boiler with heat networks and wastewater treatment plant are built, the streets are asphalted. Workers in their flats have cold and hot water.

The workers take part in sports and amateur collectives. The basketball and volleyball teams of women and men are formed. Men and women take part in a singing ensemble, dancing team; some are playing wind instruments in the orchestra, and play the drama club.