Eviction drive taken up to rid irrigation channel of encroachments

Brings cheer to farmers with lands at the tail-end areas

TIRUNELVELI: Farmers having cultivable lands in the tail-end region of the Paappaankulam irrigation channel under the Karuppanadhi irrigation system in the district are the most jubilant lot now as illegal constructions made on the channel for about 6.5 km that effectively blocked the flow of water for the past 40 years have been removed, thanks to the efforts of Collector M. Jayaraman. The four decade-long unresolved problem came to light at the farmers’ grievance day meeting on February 19 in which a farmer raised the issue of the encroachment on the channel.

Free flow:Illegal construction made on Paappaankulam channel being removed at Kadayanallur. — Photo: A. Shaikmohideen

Reacting sharply over this issue, Mr. Jayaraman instructed the revenue officials to identify the illegal constructions built along the stretch of about 6.5 km on the irrigation channel and to chart out an action plan to remove them. “Illegal constructions openly challenge the authority of the official machinery even as denying a section of the people their genuine rights and hence the interests of the voiceless section of the society should be protected at any cost. The revenue officials should prepare a detailed report on this issue at the earliest so that the eviction drive can be started without any further delay,” the Collector ordered.

When the mass contact programme was conducted at Krishnapuram on March 10, Mr. Jayaraman, while explaining in detail the history behind encroachments on Paappaankulam channel and the action to be taken, assured that the eviction drive would be started only after making proper alternative arrangements for the affected.

“The public should understand the problems being created by the illegal constructions… In this particular case, the flow of water through this channel to the tail-end regions has been obstructed completely and the channel has been transformed into a drainage channel. Since we’ll ensure an alternative for the people to be affected by this eviction drive, everyone concerned should cooperate with the district administration,” Mr. Jayaraman said.

The encroachment eviction drive was started last week by involving five earthmovers and personnel drawn from various departments.

“We never dreamt that our lands that remained dry for the past forty years due to the encroachments on the irrigation channel, would become productive once again. We are so happy that over several hundreds of acres falling under this irrigation channel are going to get succour from this channel and eventually ensure revenue for us. We’re really thankful to the Collector,” said K. Balasubramanian, a farmer from Kadayanallur.


‘City Clean Campaign’ in July

To remove plastic waste within Nellai Corporation limits

TIRUNELVELI: Tirunelveli Municipal Corporation, which has identified 124 places under its jurisdiction where ‘waste plastic mounds’ have been created by its residents, has decided to involve its entire workforce along with volunteers drawn from schools and colleges in its ‘City Clean Campaign’ to remove this highly hazardous materials to be destroyed safely.

Laid waste:Plastic waste dumped in the irrigation channel taking water to Nainarkulam near Lala Chatra corner in Tirunelveli town. Photo: A_Shaikmohideen

After the district administration and the Department of Environment decided to impose a ban on the production, sale and use of non-recyclable non-degradable plastic materials, particularly, plastic bags, serious steps were initiated to clean up the already piled up plastic wastes by involving India Cements Limited (ICL) in this noble exercise.

As per the memorandum of understanding signed with ICL, the urban local bodies of Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Nagercoil should collect the plastic wastes being generated in their respective areas and send it in the lorries to the premises of cement manufacturing unit, where the hazardous non-degradable materials would be finely shredded to be used as supplement fuel along with the regular fuel, coal.


Subsequently, the ICL management spent over Rs. 1 crore for making some modifications in the machineries and installed equipment to make this process effective.

Even as this exercise is going on, the corporation has planned to put an end to the creation of plastic heaps under its jurisdiction while cleaning the existing stacks of plastics.

As per this new initiative, the plastic waste dumped at 124 places in various places under the Corporation will be removed during the ‘City Clean Campaign’ to be jointly organised by its 700-odd conservancy workers and over 1,800 students and volunteers drawn from various schools, colleges and also from the residents’ welfare associations.

“This camp will be conducted in the first week of July on a particular day simultaneously across the corporation to clean the plastic hillocks. After the conduct of this campaign, we’ll initiate very stern action against those who produce, sell and use the non-degradable plastic products as production, sale and use of these hazardous materials within corporation limits have been banned. Residents should hand over plastic waste only to the conservancy workers hereafter,” said Commissioner N. Subbaian.


Farm inputs given to eight farmers

  The move is aimed at increasing the area under red gram cultivation

Tirunelveli: Collector M. Jayaraman distributed farm inputs to the tune of Rs. 5, 000 each to eight farmers here on Monday.

In a bid to increase the area under red gram cultivation, the inputs were being provided under intensification of red gram cultivation through demonstration scheme under National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP).

The distribution of inputs included quality seeds of high yielding varieties of red gram, micro nutrient mixtures, bio fertilizers, seed treatment chemicals, weedicides and plant protection chemicals.

Task forceconstituted

In order to meet the gap in production and demand, the state government has constituted a special task force for preparing an action plan to enhance pulse production.

According to a press release, allocation was given for eight hectares of red gram demonstrations under NADP in the district. Joint Director of Agriculture, S. Subramanian, Deputy Director of Agriculture, S. Devasahayam and PA to Collector (Agriculture) M. Duraipandian were present.


Non-degradable plastic products, a threat to environment

Two-day seminar on ‘global warming’ under way

TIRUNELVELI: The Tamil Nadu Science Forum’s two-day seminar on ‘Global warming’ commenced at Manonmaniam Sundaranar University here on Friday.

Addressing the seminar, Joint Secretary, Department of Agriculture, R. Vasuki, said that though awareness of global warming could be created across the world only after the later part of the 20th century, no consensus on the measures to be taken to effectively check the global threat could be arrived at even now.

She cautioned that the non-recyclable and non-degradable plastic products would be a serious threat to the environment. Kundrakudi Ponnambala Desigar, Registrar, MSU, S. Manickam, Vice-Chancellor, MSU, R.T. Sabapathy Mohan, and others spoke.


Sea intrudes coastal areas

TIRUNELVELI: After the sea erosion swallowed a road near the shoreline and now inching towards the houses, District Collector M. Jayaraman, accompanied by Radhapuram MLA M. Appavu, Tirunelveli MP S.S. Ramasubbu and top officials from the Departments of Fisheries, revenue and PWD visited the coastal hamlet on Tuesday to ascertain the situation there and the measures to be taken immediately to check further damage to the properties.

According to Uvari panchayat president S.V. Antony, the sea had advanced towards the shore further for about 100 feet in the past few years and could damage the houses when strong wind would hit the coast between mid-June and August.

“We’ve to take concrete measures immediately to save the public from the menacingly advancing sea… When the westerly wind starts lashing the coast during July and August, situation may become worse. So we’ve to act immediately to protect the public and their properties,” said Mr. Appavu.


After inspecting the damage, Mr. Jayaraman said a proposal on constructing the concrete structure at a cost of Rs. 7.50 crore to neutralise the giant waves would be forwarded to the State Government shortly.