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.


Bereft of water

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


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.


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.