Disposed clothes piling up at Agnitheertham worries tourists

RAMANATHAPURAM: The indiscriminate disposal of clothes by devotees in the sea at Agnitheertham in Rameswaram and the lack of any mechanism to clear them has caused concern among the tourists.

Ritualistic:A heap of clothes thrown by devotees after taking a holy dip at Agnitheertham shore in Rameswaram. — Photo: L. Balachandar

As per the custom and tradition, the devotees, who come to Rameswaram to perform pujas for their ancestors, throw clothes and other items in the sea before or after taking the holy dip.

An approximate estimate shows that around 5000 pilgrims take holy dip in the sea at Agnitheertham everyday, which is just a few meters from Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple. Of them, at least 200 persons throw clothes and puja materials in the shallow areas of the sea as per the instruction by the priests. The clothes, which go down to the bottom of the sea, remain there for many days. They have been hardly cleared by the staff members or agencies concerned.

Devotees complained that whenever they went to take holy bath in the sea near Agnitheertham, they had to touch the abandoned cloths, which they did not want to.

The local people said that though there was a mechanism to remove clothes. It was not being implemented properly. The removed clothes sometimes had been kept on the shore for many days. It was posing an unclean environment in Rameswaram, where a large number of devotees and tourists came from different parts of the country.

They demanded that the officials concerned should devise a plan to remove these clothes on a daily basis. They suggested that a separate area in the sea could be earmarked for putting clothes and others materials so that they could be cleared without much difficulties.

From THE HINDU

Bereft of water

Barren: A farmer walking on the dry Sakkarakottai tank in Ramanathapuram. Photo: L. Balachandar

From THE HINDU

Fishermen find venture encouraging

Happiness is palpable among them at Rameswaram

RAMANATHAPURAM: The first day’s sally of Rameswaram fishermen, who ventured into the sea for fishing after a gap of 45 days, was successful and encouraging, as most of them netted a good catch.

FORTUNE FAVOURS THEM:Fishermen offloading fish catch at Rameswaram on Tuesday.

Out of around 1500 trawlers that went into the sea on Monday from Rameswaram, Mandapam, Pamban and nearby villages, most of them returned to the shore without any notable problem or disturbance in the sea.

Happiness was palpable among the fishermen, who unloaded their catch from the trawlers for marketing. Reports from a cross section of fishermen indicated that it was good fortune for most of them. Besides prawn, which is the most sought after variety due to the high market value for export, they netted ‘kanavoi,’ crab and fishes, which fetched good rate in the local markets.

It is said that the fishermen netted 150 to 250 kg per boat. There were reports that a few fishermen of Erwadi, Valinokkam and nearby fishing villages got 250 to 300 kg per trawler.

“We have got around 150 kg of prawn. Though it cannot be termed as a good catch, we feel satisfied with it,” said A. Edision of Thangachimadam.

Fishermen claimed that except for a few groups most of them confined to the Indian waters and cast nets.

S. Arulanandam of Pamban said they could get a good catch due to fishing after a long gap (ban period) intended by the government for facilitating a good environment for breeding. The trend should continue at least for a few months so that the fishermen could repay the loans borrowed at higher rates of interest for repairing the boats. The fishermen were paid around Rs.400 per kg of prawn (first quality) by the merchants, who purchased it for export.

Acting on complaints by the Assistant Director of Fisheries that most the fishermen went to the sea without collecting mandatory tokens, Collector T.N. Hariharan said that the issue would be viewed seriously. Action would be taken against those who had sold diesel to fishermen before the end of ban on fishing.

From The Hindu

Ramanathapuram: Second cyclone warning

PRECAUTION:Cyclone warning flag number 2 hoisted in Pamban on Tuesday. — Photo: L. Balachandar.

Fishermen using all types of boats advised not to venture into sea

RAMANATHAPURAM: A cyclone warning flag, number 2, was hoisted at Pamban on Tuesday in view of the cyclonic storm ‘Laila’ moving westwards along the Bay of Bengal coast. Though a fishing holiday is in force, fishermen using all types of boats have been advised not to venture into sea in view of the prevailing weather.

The sea is expected to be rough during the night. The cyclone warning flag, number one, was hoisted on Monday.

From THE HINDU

Marine species washed ashore

RAMANATHAPURAM: Dozens of fishes and endangered marine species were found washed ashore off Mandapam coast on Saturday.

Unusual:Fishes and endangered marine species washed ashore at Mandapam.

Many marine species were found floating along the shore. Though the dead fishes were found floating in patches here and there, a large number of marine animals were found dead at Munaikadu shore near Mandapam.

Sea cucumber, seahorse and other rare species were among those found dead. The colour of the sea had also changed in patches. It looked muddy and yellow in several areas. Bad odour had been emanating from the seashores. Meerasa of Munaikadu said around 5 km stretch between Mandapam and Uchipuli was littered with dead fishes of all sizes.

It was not clearly known what caused the death of fishes. However, the local fishermen said it could be because of low oxygen level in the sea. They also did not rule out the possibility of high temperature. Officials of fisheries and forest departments were yet to visit the spot.

From THE HINDU

Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga districts receive heavy rainfall

Rain brings down temperature level to a great extent

RAMANATHAPURAM: Several parts of Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga districts received heavy rain on Saturday, bringing respite to the people from the high temperature.

Welcome pain:Rainwater stagnating on Vivekananda Street in Ramanathapuram.

The rain, which began at around 3 a.m., continued till 6 a.m. Ramanathapuram town received good rainfall for the first time since January.

Rainwater flowed in the low lying areas of the town.

The sky was overcast all through the day in Ramanathapuram.

Other areas including Paramakudi, Thiruppulani, Thiruvadanai received moderate to heavy rain.

Rainwater stagnated at Salai Street, Vivekanandar Street, Kenikarai, Agraharam Road.

The rain brought down the temperature to a great extent.

It was a great comfort to the people, who were reeling under the sweltering heat for the last two months.

Officials said that if the district received a couple of good showers in the next week, the problem of water scarcity for domestic animals could be eased to an extent during the summer.

Sivaganga

Almost all parts of Sivaganga district also received heavy downpour on Saturday. Roads in Sivaganga, Thirupuvanam, Manamadurai were flooded with rainwater.

Manamadurai received the highest rainfall in the district. It registered 93 mm followed by Sivaganga at 88.2 mm.

Thirubuvanam and Karaikudi recorded 60 mm and 43 mm.

Ilayangudi and Devakottai registered 18 and 13 mm respectively during the last 24 hours that ended at 8.30 a.m. on Saturday.

From THE HINDU

28,000 birds arrive in Ramnad district to enjoy season

Melaselvanoor-Keelaselvanoor is the most sought after destination for them

RAMANATHAPURAM: The recent census of birds conducted in different parts of the district revealed that as many as 28,000 birds including those from far away countries have arrived in Ramanathapuram district to enjoy the season.

Though birds have been seen in all sanctuaries of the Forest Department such as Kanjirankulam, Chirankudi and Melaselvanoor-Keelaselvanoor and backwater areas and water bodies in the district, the census shows that Melaselvanoor-Keelaselvanoor is the most sought after destination for them.

HAPPY SOJOURN:Birds at the Melaselvanoor-Keelaselvanoor sanctuary in Ramanathapuram district.

Out of 27955 birds, 7156 have been nestling or breeding in Melaselvanoor-Keelaselvanoor bird sanctuary alone. The 321.48-hectares Melaselvanoor tank has attracted huge congregations of migratory birds, including spoon bills, spot-billed pelicans, painted storks, grey herons, white ibis, open billed stork, darters, cormorants and local water birds.

An interesting observation of the senses is that Ramanathapuram Peria kanmoi (big tank) and Sakkarakottai tank, which have not been notified as bird sanctuaries, have topped the list next only to Melaselvanoor-Keelaselvanoor sanctuary. The arrival is larger than the other two sanctuaries in the district.

According to the data available with the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, which organised the comprehensive and synchronised bird population estimation recently, the big tank and Sakkarakottai tank have received 6442 and 4617 birds respectively in this season. Kanjirankulam and Chithirankulam sanctuaries received 1933 and 2805 birds of different species.

A large number of birds were seen in back water areas in Valinokkam, Pillaimadam, Kothandaramar temple and islands of Gulf of Mannar such as Hare, Manoli and Manoliputti, Kurusadai too.

M. Sundarakumar, Wildlife Warden, GMMNP, told The Hindu that about 10,000 greater flamingos, came from different continents, had been wandering in Kothandaramar lagoon area near Dhanushkodi alone. They were seen in large numbers in Big tank and Sakkarakottai tank.

While flamingos arrived a little late this season, most of the other migratory birds had been camping in the district from October and November. The availability of abundant food and conducive climate in the current season for breeding were the main reasons for the arrival of migratory birds. They would continue their stay till March-April, he added. Another interesting observation was that the birds were seems to be following a hierarchy in occupying the trees. The pelicans and painted storks occupied the babul trees. Medium-sized trees were occupied by darters, spoonbills, open billed stork and white ibis occupied the canopy.

C. Jaishankar From THE HINDU