Fishes found dead along Cuddalore coastline

CUDDALORE: The six-km coastal stretch from Chithiraipettai to Rasapettai, near here, was found littered with dead fishes on Monday evening.

Sad sight: Dead fishes, swollen and deformed with rashes all over body, were washed ashore in Cuddalore on Tuesday. — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Strong odour from the putrefying fishes prompted the Village Administrative Officer to alert the Fisheries Department and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

The swollen and deformed fishes with rashes all over the body were found strewn along the coastline villages of Chithiraipettai, Sothikuppam, Nochikadu, Thammanampettai and Rasapettai.

T. Devanathan (50), a resident of Nochikadu, told this correspondent that such a mass of fishes washed ashore was an unusual sight. The fishes had their fins and skins peeled off and blotch of blood frozen on their body.

He identified the fish species as ‘keluthi’ (cat fish), ‘vanjiram,’ ‘paarai,’ ‘keechan’ ‘kanankathai’ and sea cat, with ‘keluthi’ having suffered the most.

General Secretary of the Consumer Federation Tamil Nadu M. Nizamudeen said that the dead fishes were seen on the shoreline between the common effluent treatment plant of the SIPCOT industrial estate and the jetty of a private chemical company. It was for the officials to conduct a proper enquiry and laboratory tests to take necessary remedial and punitive measures. District Environmental Engineer (TNPCB) D. Sekar, and Assistant Director of Fisheries R. Ilamparithi, who inspected the spot.

A.V.Ragunathan From THE HINDU

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Child marriages continue in Kodakarai

KODAKARAI (KRISHNAGIRI): Awareness programmes and action against the perpetrators have not been able to put an end to child marriage in Kodakarai, a village situated on a hill in Denkanikottai taluk.

“Girl students are prevented from going to school on attaining puberty and marriage is conducted. This is our tradition,” says Rudrappa, village elder.

“We couldn’t give education to girls due to various factors. Girl students can study up to Std. V in Panchayat Union primary school in Kodakarai. To continue their study, they have to walk 9 km to catch a bus to either Denkanikottai or Pettamukilalam,” he says.

Due to lack of proper road, there is no transport facility to the village. “We have urged the government to upgrade the present school to at least middle school so that the girl students can study up to Std VIII,” he says.

Recently, three child marriages were stopped by Collector V.K. Shanmugam. However, his efforts proved futile as the villagers solemnized the weddings at a later date secretly.

As per a recent survey, there are 372 children in the age group of six to 14 in the village. Of this, 285 were admitted in the school. After some time, 24 children dropped out.

To encourage parents send children to school, two residential schools were started under the Sarva Siksha Abiyan in the village. Of this, one functioning in the Irular Colony has 50 students. Nirmala, a Plus Two student from the Irular community, is in charge of the school.

The other school run by Siddaraman is facing problems.

It is alleged that the funds for the school have not been allotted for the past three months.

Records reveal that one child out of three families of Backward Class communities is studying in the schools whereas among Irulars, it is two children from two families. It shows that awareness about education is better among the Irulars than BC communities in the village.

R. Arivanantham From THE HINDU

Tiruchi: Huge water tanks for villages in two blocks

TIRUCHI: The Government will take immediate action for solving the drinking water problem in the villages in Musiri and Mannachanallur blocks in Tiruchi district and high capacity overhead tanks would be built to provide drinking water in the water-starved villages in these blocks, said Forest Minister N. Selvaraj on Monday.

Reviewing the development works being carried out under various schemes in Musiri and Mannachanallur panchayat unions in the district at a meeting with Collector T. Soundiah and other district officials, the Minister said that he would bring to the notice of the Chief Minister about the drinking water problem faced by the people in Musiri and Mannachanallur blocks and take remedial measures to ensure quick and adequate drinking water to the villages.

Mr. Selvaraj pointed out that action would also be taken for converting the part-time fair price shops into full time shops and also for constructing high-level bridges in several parts of the unions. He asked the panchayat presidents to submit separate department wise petitions for carrying out development works so that it would be easy for him to take necessary action. The Minister said that Government’s free colour television sets were being given to eligible families and pointed out that about 40 lakh television sets had been purchased this year and would be provided to all the families in the villages.

Similarly, free domestic LPG gas stoves with connection will be given to all eligible families in a phased manner, he said.

Mr. Selvaraj pointed out that the recently launched Chief Minister Dr. Kalaignar’s health insurance scheme for life saving treatments had evoked good response and a large number of beneficiaries were getting treatment under the scheme for 51 types of ailments.

Collector T. Soundiah who presided over the meeting, said that quick action would be taken on the petitions submitted by the panchayat presidents to the Minister at the meeting and pointed out that steps would be taken to provide drinking water supply in the affected villages in Thottiyam, Musiri, Mannachanallur and Thuraiyur taluks.

Musiri Revenue Divisional Officer S. Meenakshisundaram, panchayat union chairperson Manonmani Thillaivasagam, and other officials attended the meeting.

From THE HINDU

Cuddalore: Water level reduced

CUDDALORE: Water level in the Veeranam tank was reduced from 46.2 ft to 46 ft on Tuesday, anticipating more rain in catchment areas.

After inspecting the villages upstream, including Agaraputhur, Pa. Puthur, Sithamalli and Nattaramangalam on Tuesday, Collector P. Seetharaman told The Hindu that as of now, 600-700 cusecs of water was flowing into the tank.

To avert inundation of farmlands, 1,000 cusecs was being discharged through the Veeranam New Supply Sluice and the Pazh vaikkal. Meanwhile, water level in the tank has become a point of contention between officials and farmers.

The officials are of the opinion that storage should be kept at a comfortable level to ensure uninterrupted supply to Chennai.

K.V. Elangeeran, a farmer, said that heavy storage in the tank led to reverse flow of water that inundated standing paddy and groundnut crops on 5,000 acres in 15 villages.

An official team which visited the area on Monday, stated that there were proposals to construct a byewash, widen the bridge at Agaraputhur and desilt irrigation canals.

From THE HINDU

Frequent waterlogging hits Cuddalore locality

Effluents from industrial estate also cause health hazards

CUDDALORE: Residents of V.K.J. Nagar in Panchankuppam area near here detest rain because even the slightest shower leaves their place waterlogged. About 100 houses are thus facing the threat of inundation from overflowing sewage and run-off from the nearby garbage yard.

S. Raju (45), a resident, told The-Hindu that waterlogging had been the bane of the area for the past two decades. Sewage carrying effluents of the SIPCOT Industrial Estate is also streaming through the village, thereby causing stench and serious health hazards.

Owing to the lack of drainage facility, the murky water stagnated at the place for months together. Therefore, the area had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the residents find it extremely difficult to cope with the menace.

Woes aplenty: Panchankuppam in Cuddalore old town area remains constantly waterlogged. — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

The residents would have to invariably wade through the muddy waters and many of them had developed skin disorders. Whenever it rained heavily, water seeped into houses and posed a severe challenge to clear the contaminated water.

Drinking water supply too was affected by such a situation because there was a potential threat to contract water-borne diseases. Mr. Raju said that whenever the residents register their protests, the local body took ad hoc measures such as digging a shallow trench.

Since the trench was not attached to any canal or water source, in course of time it also got clogged and aggravated the problem.

The residents had also made several representations to the district administration but no action has been taken.

A.V. Ragunathan – From THE HINDU

Chennai: Thandarai village may be on eco-tourism map

CHENNAI: Taking their cue from a successful eco-tourism project at Karamadai forest range in Coimbatore district, where the indigenous Irula tribes were involved in executing it, the newly formed eco-tourism wing of the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) is planning to replicate it in Thandarai village in Kancheepuram.

Official sources told ‘Express’ that a decision in this regard is expected be taken soon. Significantly, Thandarai village near Tirukazhukundram in Kancheepuram district was adjudged the best rural tourism project by t he Centre in 2007. 

The irula tribal Women's Welfare Society's nursery for herbs at Thandarai, Chengalpet. - Photo - M. KARUNAKARAN

The eco-tourism package at Karamadai comprises coracle ride services, luncheon interaction with the local tribe, wildlife viewing and bird watching in the backdrop of an exhilarating landscape during the weekends. 

TTDC is expected to firm up its first eco-tourism policy within a fortnight. The policy is expected to identify tourism spots for launching eco-tourism activities, cleaning of water bodies, usage of eco-friendly products in hotels and creating green awareness among the locals. 

The eco-tourism wing was inaugurated about a month ago. It has conducted two treks so far, including one at Shervaroyan Hills in Yercaud. “Both the trips have evoked tremendous response among the tourists and we are planning to conduct more such treks in the future,” a senior official in the tourism department said.

From ExpressBuzz

Perambalur: Rs.1.05 crore for tourism projects

PERAMBALUR: With a view to promoting tourism in the district, the State Government has planned to notify a couple of places, including Ranjankudikottai, as tourist centres.

The government has sanctioned Rs.1.05 crore for amenities at the historical fort in Ranjankudikottai, about 17 km north of Perambalur, and the geologically significant fossil tree at Sathanur village, about 20 km from Ariyalur. The fort is under the maintenance of the Archaeological Survey of India and the fossil tree is protected by the Geological Survey of India.

Collector M. Vijyakumarsaid that a sum of Rs.55 lakh had been sanctioned to provide amenities at the fort and Rs.50 lakh at Sathanur.

From THE HINDU