Six sewage treatment plants planned in Nagapattinam

NAGAPATTINAM: Over six sewage treatment plants are being conceived for tsunami houses here in Nagapattinam.

Civic amenities:Collector C. Munianathan, second from left, inspecting the work which is under way for a sewage treatment plant at Keechankuppam in Nagapattinam.

The project funded by the World Bank to the tune of Rs.5.17 crore envisages sewage treatment plants at various tsunami-hit colonies at varying expenditure in the district.

They include a Rs.1.33 crore treatment plant at Keezhapatanacheri, a plant at Rs. 92.71 lakh in Savariar Koil, a Rs.64.53 lakh treatment facility at Palpannacheri, a Rs.62.36 lakh plant at Pandagasalai, Rs.63.61 lakh plant at Ambedkar Nagar and a Rs.1.01 crore plant at Keechankupam. The sewage treatment plants are being set up under aegis of TWAD Board.

These sewage treatment plants have been conceived as a component of Emergency Tsunami Reconstruction Project.

Phase II

The ETRP constitutes phase II of tsunami rehabilitation process.

As part of the ETRP, construction of dwelling units within 1000 meter high tide line are also under way in the district.

Earlier on Saturday, Collector C. Munianathan inspected the works underway at Keechankuppam, and assured of early completion, tentatively by July end.


Cycling mission to save environment

NAGAPATTINAM: A bunch of young-men have wheeled their way on a mission from Chidambaram. The five-person cycle squad of the Friends of Police has commenced on a 14,600 km-cycle tour along the coasts in a bid to save the environment from wanton human greed.

MEN ON A MISSION:The team of five Friends of Police volunteers which has embarked on an all India cycle expedition at Nagapattinam bus terminus on Thursday.—Photo: B. Velankanni Raj

Armed with a vision to create awareness on climate change, global warming, and protection of the fragile earth and its resources from depletion, the cyclists would pedal their way across 24 states and 86 district headquarters. As the coasts play a crucial role in conservation and devastation, their journey would dot along the coastal districts.

The arduous journey that was flagged off on Wednesday at Chidambaram by Pradeep V.Philip, Inspector General of Police, and the man who conceived the novel movement of FOP-envisaging citizen partnership in enforcing security in society along with the uniformed personnel-while he was the Superintendent of Police in Ramanathapuram. Their journey resumed in Nagapattinam on Thursday morning after a night’s halt for yet another destination. The five-month long journey would conclude in Chidambaram.

For the five unemployed graduates, B. Mahendran, R.Senthil Kumar, J.Anbuselvam, R.Rajaselvam and V.Vinodraj, who have set out to strain their sinews on the pedal for a cause, it is the journey and not the destination that would make all the difference.


Successful harvesting of spiny lobsters done

By Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Mandapam

RAMANATHAPURAM: The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Mandapam, has successfully harvested spiny lobsters, a most sought species of shellfish in the international market, through cage culture for the first time in the southern coast of the State.

NET RESULT: A fisherman with the harvested lobsters at Mandapam on Friday.— Photo: L. Balachandar.

It has been demonstrated that the lobster, which is facing the danger of extinction, owing to unhealthy practice of using bottom set gill nets that results in catching of a lot of juvenile lobsters, can be cultured in large scale in order to boost the economy of fishermen.

As per the initiative, the CMFRI with the field level participation of Fishermen and Handicapped Education Economic Development Trust (FHEEDT) floated about 10 cages made up of high density polyethylene pipes covered by nets in the sea of Mandapam about three months ago. The juvenile lobsters, which were collected from fishermen, were let in the sea case of six diameters. They were fed with trash fishes. Now, they have reached the exportable size, fetching a price of Rs.1000 per kg.

“The farming of juvenile spiny lobsters is not only a process of value-addition but also an easy way of lobster conservation. Moreover, the development and maintenance of brood stocks of lobsters in sea cages will replenish the natural stock of lobsters,” said G. Gopa Kumar, Scientist-In-Charge, CMFRI, Mandapam.

He said the cost of production per crop would be around Rs.95000 including Rs.67000 production cost, which included the cost of juveniles, feed, labour and others. The yield of lobsters through a crop could be sold for Rs.2.40 lakh, realising a net income of Rs.1.46 lakh.

He added that it had been proved that cage farming of spiny lobsters could pave the way for the development of commercial level farming ventures in the region through self-help groups. The CMFRI would provide assistance for an economically viable alternate livelihood option for fishermen.

K. Aldrin, president, FHEEDT, said the members of a self-help group, who were all physically handicapped, had actively involved in the initiative. It had already started selling lobsters to the export buyers. The successful programme might motive other fishermen groups to take up cage culture in a big way.


Nagapattinam: Rally against use of plastics taken out

NAGAPATTINAM: An awareness rally against the use of plastics was flagged off here at Velankanni by Collector C.Munianathan on Friday. The rally that was flagged off at Our Lady of Health Higher Secondary School culminated at the Velankanni new bus stand.

BETTER ENVIRONMENT: Collector C. Munianathan, right, leading an awareness rally against the use of plastics at Velankanni on Friday.

Mr.Munianathan stated that such awareness campaigns at places of worship had more significance considering the levels of pollution religious places were subject to by teeming devotees.

He said that a similar rally was taken out in Nagore in December.

On collection of samples of refuse from Velankanni for inspection, it was ascertained that over 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the garbage consisted of plastics.

It has also been brought to the notice of the district administration that garbage with high non-biodegradable component was buried.

Such trends would inflict an irreversible damage to the health of the people, he said.

The campaign was in pursuance of the announcement made by the State Minister for Environment and Sports in the Assembly on creation of environmental awareness among people.

The administration had earlier conducted a similar awareness campaign against the use of plastics by taking out a rally in Nagore.


Nagapattinam: Pongal tourism fest

NAGAPATTINAM: On the occasion of the harvest festival, a Pongal Tourism fest would be organised at Poompuhar on January 13. The fest would be inaugurated at 3 p.m. at the Melayur. The tourism fest would usher in the theme of a plastic-free environment. Folk and cultural programmes, dance and rangoli competitions and silambattam would be organised.


Nagapattinam: Need for conserving Olive Ridleys

NAGAPATTINAM: An awareness seminar on the need to conserve Oliver Ridley Turtles for the fisherfolk was organised here jointly by the Forest Department and the Fisheries Department.

The two-day seminar held at Nagapattinam, Kodiakkarai and Sirkazhi aimed at exposing the fisherfolk to the need and methods of conservation of the Olive Ridleys. It focused on the threats posed to their survival and cooperation was sought from the fisherfolk.

The seminar also attempted to create an understanding on marine life prohibited under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Under the Wildlife Act, some species of fish, sharks, whales, turtles, mollusks were secured protection.

The seminar also saw participation from Tree Foundation, a Chennai-based non-profit organisation working towards Olive Ridley conservation along the Kancheepuram and Chennai coast.

The Forest Department had sought to emulate similar conservation activity here along the Nagapattinam coast, which supports the nesting habits of huge population of Olive Ridley turtles.

According to V. Thirunavukarasu, District Forest Officer, over 52 fisherfolk panchayatars, representatives and leaders participated in the awareness seminar.

T. Umakanthan, Assistant Director, Fisheries, Supraja Dharani, chairperson of Tree Foundation, an NGO, were present.


Thanjavur: Heavy rain lashes districts in delta region

Holiday for Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Pudukottai

THANJAVUR: Heavy rain lashed Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts on Tuesday. Low-lying areas were inundated and water stagnation was reported in paddy fields in some areas. While so far there is no crop damage, continuation of rain hereafter may inundate and damage crops.

M. S. Shanmugham, Thanjavur Collector, said that agriculture department officials have been asked to make an assessment on Wednesday and take steps to save the standing samba crop by advising precautionary methods.

Samba crop is in different stages in the two districts and harvest is expected to commence from second week of January.

Rainfall recorded in the last 24 hours till eight a.m. on Tuesday: Muthupettai 91.4 mms, Tiruvarur 46.8 mms, Thanjavur 45 mms, Thiruthuraipoondi 44.6 mms, Pattukottai 38 mms, Valangaiman 37.5 mms, Needamangalam 36 mms, Madukkur 31 mms, Orathanadu 29 mms, Nannilam 27.5 mms, Mannargudi 27 mms, Kodavasal 23.6 mms, Kumbakonam 18.5 mms and Papanasam 14 mms.


The week-long rain that lashed the district promised some respite with the retreat of the cyclone. However, with just few hours of sunny weather on Sunday, rain continued relentlessly into its second week here in the district.

Thirupoondi, Sirkazhi, Nagapattinam and other parts of district experienced heavy rain throughout the day on Tuesday. Roads and housing colonies in low-lying areas were inundated.

Union Territory of Karaikal experienced intermittent but heavy rain through the day.

Vedaranyam recorded the maximum rainfall of 189.8 mm in the last 24 hours that ended at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. The following are the chief amounts of rainfall in the district: Manalmedu 48.4mm, Thalainayar 48.2 mm, Nagapattinam 44.6 mm, Mayiladuturai 42 mm, Thirutharaipoondi 30 mm, Tharangambadi 26.6 mm, Sirkazhi 13.1 mm, Kollidam 12 mm, with the recorded average rainfall of 50.52 mm.

A holiday has been declared for schools in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Pudukottai districts on Wednesday.

Mr. Shanmugham and M.Chandrasekaran, Collector of Tiruvarur district, have issued orders for closure of the schools on Wednesday.

In Nagapattinam, exams scheduled for Wednesday have been postponed to January 4, according to an official press release.

All schools will remain closed in Pudukottai district , according to Collector A. Suganthai.