Environmental Education

IIM Ahmedabad News letter

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 11, 2012

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My article which appeared in the Newsletter of IIM, Ahmedabad.  The article is based on our Community , IndianWildlifeclub.com.  You can read it online at the link
http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/egov/ifip/jul2012/sharma.htm

Wildlife

India Wildlife

Posted by Gajanan Bapat on September 25, 2012

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Indian Forest

Anthropomorphism

Wild Life

Posted by Jasoprakas Debdas on September 08, 2012

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Bio-Diversity

Mangarbani

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 05, 2012

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Read the interesting piece about Mangarbani at the link
http://forbesindia.com/printcontent/32350


.... The spry-at-78 Arthur F. Bentley professor of political science at Indiana University, however, backs Mangar villagers and conservationists because she does believe in the durability of traditional community-based models of preserving and judiciously using common resources such as water, fisheries and forests. ......

Ostrom’s research is particularly important for India which is struggling to manage its commons, be it forests or water. Flashpoints are becoming frequent as demands of a burgeoning population and its development needs put pressure on common property. The 600-acre Mangarbani, for instance, falls within Faridabad’s new 20-year development plan that would allow construction and other projects in eco-sensitive areas. But what they fail to grasp is that the forests are crucial to the maintenance of an ecosystem that helps recharge the aquifers beneath the Aravalli hills. ......







Bio-Diversity

Mangarbani Virgin Forest, Gurgaon

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 01, 2012

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5km to the side of Gurgaon -Faridabad four lane road, driving through a thick forest of Vilayati Kekar trees interpersed with construction sites, you enter Mangarbani village (wrongly spelt Manger at the direction board on the main road).




The Art and Craft Hotel raises a few eyebrows just before we enter the village.  Builders are already in possession of Dream plans to convert the ancient village of Mangarbani into a "Tourist Paradise", the Hotel is probably waiting for those Dreams to take wings.


 Entrance to Mangarbani


At this sleepy village of about 300 hamlets we ask our way to the Bani.  As we reach Bani, the three soldiers from Mangarbani village who started the fight to save Mangarbani against seemingly odd barriers,  greet us.  We, a few friends who learnt about Mangarbani through the film "The Lost Forest",  had decided to devote the Sunday Morning to see the forest for ourselves. 


"Heavenly'" " So cool'" "Longest tailed peacock" "Beautiful bird sounds"  remarks kept coming as we walked. The residents pitched in with their knowledge of the Bani.  The first and last rule of the Bani " Do not pluck or cut anything from the Bani.  If you graze your animals inside, you raise the wrath of  Gudanya Baba  whose Samadhi in a cave is worshipped by the villagers.


 Broken Kadamb branch-Remove it at your peril!


 Here is an excerpt from the magazine "Down To Earth"


---What sets the Bani apart from the surrounding vegetation is that 95 per cent of it comprises a slow growing tree called Dhau (Anogeissus pendula). The tree has a unique feature. If it is nibbled by cattle, it spreads out on the ground or over rocks like thick prostrate undergrowth. If left undisturbed, it grows into a middle-sized tree. The 13-meter-tall dhaus in Mangar Bani testify to the forest’s antiquity, points out Pradip Krishen, the author of Trees of Delhi. ......


Sacred grove of Dhau trees seen from temple top


We saw Desi papri trees, Vat  and Dhok trees , Seetaphal trees and Kadamb trees which were fruiting and Dhau, the endemic tree of the area which were sprouting all over after the rains.



 Fruit of Kadamb tree


Sweet fruit of Seeta Phal tree



Dhau sprouting through rocks



Take the Dhau outside Mangarbani and they refuse to grow.  The Dhau is believed to be one large organism in Managrbani which propagates through root grown saplings only.  Untouched by the British ( The British never discovered this village tucked away in the interior, according to locals) and the Forest Department, Vilayati Keekar is absent in the village.  No bougainvillas and no lantana bushes are seen anywhere.      The Forest has remained natural as it was 3000 years ago.  A Natural Museum worth presrving for the next generation!




Under the shade of ancient trees


Mangarbani, a serene forest



Besides the Bani being the Preserve of fauna and flora endemic to the Aravalis (probably the only patch in Rajasthan-Haryana-Delhi, where Aravalis have survived in their original glory), this unspoilt forest is most likely responsible for water recharging and safeguarding water veins underground.  Destroy this vegetation cover, build on it and we could end up blocking/destroying any number of water veins under those impenetrable rock-systems.  

Gurgaon and Faridabad have seen Surajkund, Badkhal and Dumdama lakes disappear within the last 25-30 years, once vegetation in Aravalis was destroyed and hilllsides dug up for minerals/stones for construction and/or levelled for putting up buildings. The ban by the Supreme Court on all mining cant restore those water bodies, they are gone for ever.

Will the Gurgaon-Faridabad-Delhi residents let the unspoilt Aravalis in and around Manger Bani disappear? They could be destroying the most important water-recharge System/Preserve that could have sustained the coming generations by providing much needed elixir of life 'WATER'

SAVE THE ARAVALIS THAT WE STILL HAVE------REHABILITATING THEM MAY BE BEYOND ALL OF US. AFTER ALL THESE MOUNTAINS TOOK MILLIONS OF YEARS TO BECOME OUR BENEFICIARIES------


Listen to the young men from Mangarbani making an appeal

Green Jobs

Which would be much better: IFS or M.Sc in wildlife Biology

Posted by Amith Jain on August 12, 2012

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Respected Sir/Madam,

I've finished my engineering in biotechnology with 66% aggregate and 2012 pass-out. 
In recent years while pursuing my engineering i gained interest in conserving the nature, specifically the wild species and all the wild environment. I was just searching any particular jobs in this field, but could hardly find any, and even volunteering options were less, and those which i found had no proper follow up. 
Now in last month, I started my search again, I've tried in several places like WRRC, WWF, CWS, SOS, ATREE for volunteering and got a call from one or two. I had to reject because I was running short of money to travel till there and also couldn't make up to other expenses. Can you tell some place which gives a volunteering opportunity with just a little stipend that could cover up my travel expenses in bangalore.
I desperately want to enter into this field and make my career in this field. But my parents say its of no use and income is low and other stuffs, Is the Income really that much low?
I've tried all possible ways to convince them. Can you help me with some other ideas to convince them.?And
I've come across IFS and M.Sc in wildlife Biology, I wanted to know which would be a better option to continue with, and what is the future scope of either of the field or both.

Green Jobs

Volunteers for 'NEWS'

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 11, 2012

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Given below is an invitation for Volunteers from http://www.naturewildlife.org/

Inviting Volunteers for Internship Oppurtunity

 

Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS) are looking for active students for internship programme in our organization for 1/3/6 months. We would be requiring students with background from Sociology for livelihood and awareness programme, and Zoology, Botany and Environmental Science students for biodiversity programme.Students are required to have a good knowledge in Bengali (read, write and speak), English and should be computer literate.Certificates will be provided to the students at the end of the programme. The activities will stretch over:

              * Intense field work
                 * Two three day outstation visit per week, ( if any)
                 * Scientific data collection, analysis, management
              * Community outreach activities
                 * Report writing and documentation
                 * Students are expected to visit office daily

    Students would be paid a stipend of Rs 1000 per month and all the field expenses will be taken care of by NEWS. Each student would require a permission letter from there institution (either from their Principal or from the authorized head of their respective department)

    TO apply please send your recommendation letter and your CV at :

    Nature Environment & Wildlife Society
    Email: news_kolkata@yahoo.co.in
    10 Chowringhee Terrace
    Kolkata-700020
    Ph. 033-22234148

Environment Awareness

Invasive species in Western Ghats Rivers threatens the endemic aquatic fauna

Posted by Harikrishnanbhaskaran on July 19, 2012

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Western Ghats, the ancient mountain range in the southern India which is older than Himalayas is a new entrant to the league of Word Heritage sites for its rich biodiversity. However, new studies show that incidence of foreign type of organisms in these riverine environments is a main hazard for this World Heritage site. These non-native organisms introduced in the rivers of Western Ghats for agricultural purposes or as biological controllers, are gradually wiping away organisms found in these rivers, according to certain research outcomes.

Plants like Eichhornia crassipes and Pistia stratiotes serve as good examples of alien plants in these rivers. Similarly, Salvinia molesta, Hydrilla and Ipomea fistulosa were first introduced as ornamental plants in aquariums but later became major weeds in these rivers. They cover the water surface, often increasing the rate of sedimentation. They also hinder the daylight which is essential for the underwater plants for photosynthesis. Mikania macarantha, is a similar plant now threatening biodiversity in the area. It forms a thick layer over the river surface and the connected riparian forest, blocking the sunlight. 

Exotic fishes add one more name to the list of foreign organisms causing threat to innate organisms in the Western Ghats Rivers. Introduced to control mosquito and diseases caused by them, these aquatic organisms have turned out to be enemies in course of time. Gambusia affinis, was widely introduced as a biological agent to control mosquitos. But now they have entered Western Ghats streams, raising stiff competition for resources with native species, wiping away them locally. This is dangerous when for the endemic fishes in Western Ghats Rivers

Clarias gariepinus, was brought in by farmers who wanted a fast growing fish which eats up everything including waste from slaughter houses, to increase fish production. But the fish known for its ability to survive in drastic conditions has turned out to be a serious threat to native species of fishes and other organisms when invaded main stream rivers.

Unlike other threats which destruct a river ecosystem, foreign species and the extent of the damage caused by them are often invisible for the naked eye for a long time if detailed research is not being carried out.  So the current studies show that there is a need to conduct more in-depth studies and take up conservation efforts to help the world heritage site from degrading further.there is also an urgent need for the government to formulate and implement a policy for the management of the invasive species in India. 

Environmental Education

Foundr President CHAATAK NATURE CONSERVATION SOCIETY, VARANGAON, Dist-Jalgaon(Maharashtra) India ·

Posted by anil mahajan on July 17, 2012

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Posted by anil mahajan on July 17, 2012

ORDNANCE FACTORY VARANGAON

CHAATAK NATURE CLUB – A co-curricular activity with a mission. As a co-curricular activity,it offers opportunities to learn to develop skills to enjoy and care for nature.
  1. To promote interest and knowledge about the natural resources and the environment among the emerging generation.   
  2. To help young people experience the wonder of the nature and wilderness areas.
  3. To create awareness about environment friendly lifestyles.   
  4. To encourage conservation activities like Tree Planting, adapting exercises like Role plays, Jungle Walk, Bird Slide Show, Bird watching, Trekking and publishing magazines.  
  5. To undertake activities to nature and help the environment regenerate through activities like wild life photography, ornithology, trekking rock climbing getting close to nature through various programs like nature conservation music, nature games along with forest walks in night and nature trails during the day.
  6. To organize study tours and camps.
  7. To aware farmers about co-relation between agriculture and animals, birds, inspects
  8. To execute tree plantation in rural and urban areas. Arrange environmental awareness programs such as multipurpose development of forest resources and conservation of forest eco system and awareness of eco tourism.  
  9. To organize various programs for farmers, pulps wholesome that is mental intellectual social economical, physical, cultural, scientific etc. development and specially try to implement principles as embodies in the Indian constitution.  
  10. To form a society for ecotourism and agriculture centre without any political part.
  11. To organise environmental awareness, such as related to air, water soil, and pollution.  
  12. To undertake watershed activities in drought effected area.
  13. To restore the green cover by massive plantation in order to meet fuel and fodder to fulfil the need of the village itself.
  14. To organize group discussion seminar exhibition, competition and lecture services for farmers.

 Thanks

With regards
Anil Mahajan 08806198040
Founder President

Foundr President CHAATAK NATURE CONSERVATION SOCIETY, VARANGAON, Dist-Jalgaon(Maharashtra) India ·

Travel

An entreaty for the Kollengode Thrissur railway, a Green Corridor.

Posted by Madan Menon Thottasseri on July 11, 2012

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An entreaty for the Kollengode Thrissur railway, a Green Corridor.

This is ananalysis on the decades’ pending proposal for “Kollengode – Thrissur railwayline”, a green rail-corridor through the valley of Nelliyampathy Hills that enhancesthe value- addition of Tourism in two states!

(Madan MenonThottasseri    email:tmadan.menon@gmail.com)

__________________________________________________________

This is the chronicle of a once shelved proposal for  a railway line, which could have beenincluded into the ‘wish list’ of both Kerala andTamil Nadu all these years.This railway line through the valley of Neliyampathy Hills can beyond doubt facilitate for a fresh green rail-corridor from South Tamil Nadu to Thrissur,the cultural capital of Kerala, bypassing the busy Palakkad junction and it will be increasingly pertinent now for the tourism development in both states. Unfortunately the said project never enjoyed much popular demand in Kerala and had been ignored by political bastions of all fronts.

I have been advocatingfor the Kollengode – Thrissur line during the past few years and expected theKerala government to include it in the ‘wish list’ this time too, for getting itincorporated into the Railway Budget/2012-13 as the shelved project has thepotential to get it refurbished. The said project which was resurveyed justfour years’ back is once again selected for a survey under the Railway Budget2012-13. Though the project had been getting shelved, it is a blessing indisguise that the announcement of a fresh survey for the rail link could prove that the proposal had not gone astray forever!

The proposed Kollengode– Thrissur line will practically enable a Chord line between Pollachi andThrissur. The existing Pollachi –Kollengode - Palakkad section (58 k.m) iscurrently under B.G conversion,wherein the Pollachi – Kollengode is with adistance of 35 k.m. Though the proposed line connects two towns within theState of Kerala, it will pave the way for establishing a direct green corridorfrom Tiruchchi - Dindigul -Pollachi region in Central Tamil Nadu toThrissur, the Pooram city in Central Kerala. Both States will be equally benefited from this proposed railway line.

 

Kollengode– Thrissur Railway line:

The on-going gauge conversion in Palakkad – Kollengode-Pollachi – Udumalaipet - Palani - Dindigul;and Podanur – Pollachi routes will be completed in a phased manner as per theproposal to the Railway Ministry by Southern Railways. The rail traffic in the entire stretches was closed forgauge conversions for the past two years.

There is a long pending proposal for a new line between Kollengode, the erstwhile tiny realm and Thrissur, thecity of pooram festivals, which is actually very much significant for the B.G conversionproject in the Palakkad- Pollachi- Dindigul route aimed to facilitate shortest route to temple towns of south Tamil Nadu from Malabar andCochin regions ofKerala. A traffic survey for connecting Kollengode and Thrissur (B.G) was done during 1964-65 by the distinguished Padmashree P.N.Baskaran Nair (late) who simultaneously surveyed the Salem- Bangalore and Hassan – Mangalore lines. Infact this was the second survey, as the initial survey conducted during thepre-independence period in mid-forties already went unnoticed. The line was resurveyed in the year 2007.

Being a short distance of approx. 54 k.m, the Ministry of Railways can still incorporate the proposed Kollengode-Thrissur B.G line in the coming Railway Budget/February 2011 and simultaneouslyrelease adequate funds for the early implementation of the newline as well as for augmenting the completion of the gauge conversion projects in Dindigul –Udumalaipet – Palani - Pollachi - Kollengode- Palakkad/Pollachi-Podanursections. The proposal to link Kollengode lying in the Pollachi- Palakkadsection under B.G conversion, with Thrissur, the city ofpooram festivals via.Nenmmara, Ayalur Road, Chittillamcherry, Mudappallur( For Mangalam Dam),Vadakkumcherry , Kuthiran, Pattikkad ( for Peechi Reservoir) and Mannuthy was neglected and kept in the cold storage for the past four decades.

It is very noteworthy that the proposed Kollengode – Thrissur line passes through Nenmara, thegate-way of Nelliyampathy Hill- Station the upcoming tourist destination and an ideal out-door shooting location for movie makers.

The present Nenmara townis constituted bythe erstwhile twin villages which are better known from the name of popular‘vela’ festival- the Nenmara- Vallenghy Vela , held in the firstweek of Aprilevery year. This festival attracts not only people of Cochin-Malabar regions and Coimbatore - Pollachi – Tiruppur- Palani regions ofneighboring Tamil Nadu,but also tourists from bigger cities likeChennai,Bangalore,Mumbai etc. Of late foreign tourists visiting Kerala duringthe months of March- April are enticed by travel industry based in cities inthe region like Coimbatore, Kochi and Calicut  to witness the spectacular festival which is rated at par with Thrissur Pooram. The said rail link between Kollengodeand Thrissur will give a face-lift to the paddy-cultivation and trading centers covered under Chulliyar, Pothundy, Mangalam and Peechi irrigation projects.Cruise rides in Peechi and Pothundy reservoirs are popular.It will be anenchanting journey by a train that chugs through the beautiful countryside surrounded by thick lush of paddy fields, coconut – areca nut farms, rubberplantations and picturesque hills!

The Nelliyampathy hills with amazing varieties of flora and fauna, around 65 km from Palakkad and 45k.m from Nenmara is situated at a height of 467 meters to 1572 meters at the highest peak.The Hill station is comprised of a chain of ridges separated by valleys ofdense, evergreen virgin forests and orange plantations. There are more than adozen hair-pin bends on the ghat road from Pothundy Dam passing through junglesof Sahyadri ranges. Nelliyampathi’s forest regions are sanctified with wild animals like elephants, leopards, hill squirrels, bisons and a wide spectrum ofbird life.

Nelliyampathy is also the perfect location for eco tourism and farm tourism. The sprawling teagardens,coffee, cardamom and orange plantation add beauty to this destination of all seasons. Studies had revealed that a rich civilization existed in Nelliyampathy during Tamil Sangam era. Certain view-points en-route to the hill station offer a splendid sight of the Palakkad Gap, which is a geographical phenomenonin the Western Ghats formation, showing the  extensive paddy fields of the Palakkad district and adjoining Coimbatore-Pollachi regions forming a verdantcarpet.

Seethakundu waterfall with a height of 100 meters is an added attraction from where tourists can have a nice valley sight. Padagiri, the highest peak situated on Nellikotta mountain ranges is the trekkers’ paradise. Trekking is possible to reach Mampara as well for beautiful valley-sight. Even Pollachi and Valparai can be seen from there.Nenmara town and Pothundy reservoir can be seen from yet another view point –Kesavanpara. There are private operators offering Night-Safari to see wildanimals, especially elephants; but must be beware of fuming elephants roaming around to charge anything on its sight!

GreenRail Corridor for Value Addition of Tourism in Nelliyampathy:

 

Probably it may be aprudent decision of Kerala State to give a thrust for Ayurveda andBack-water oriented tourism to woo maximum number of class tourists to thestate. Ofcourse Kerala, boasting with the tag of “God’s Own Country” could register asuccess story while offering resorts by the side of back-waters withfacilitiesfor cruise  boating, sail and stay in house-boats,  in-house Ayurveda health-centers in resorts etc. which are very much acclaimed by tourists from all continents.

It is desirable that thegovernment of Kerala consider launch of special campaigns at big cities within India as well as in Europe and U.S, for bringing guests to state; It can be “TeaGarden Tourism” for locations like Munnar and Nelliyampathy.  “Festival Tourism” may be feasible for attracting tourists to exclusive colorfulfestivals wherein there will be elephants’ parade, traditional drum recitals and display of fire-works at Thrissur Pooram, Nenmmara-Vallanghy Vela etc.

Tourism campaign for Nenmmara- Vallanghy Vela festival can be clubbed with that of Nelliyampathy,the hill-station with tea gardens, orange farms, cardamom estates. Nenmmara is connectedby road with Palakkad, the district headquarters through two or three routeswith distances around 20k.m. The town in the valley of the hill station is actually lying in the middle of Pollachi- Vadakkumcherry-Nenmmara-Thrissur Inter-State route merged with NH-47 at Vadakkumcherry. The distances by road from Nenmara to Pollachi towards east and to Thrissur towards west are 49 k.meach.

Pothundy Dam, just 6 k.m away from Nenmmara, which is constructed at the start off ‘Ayalur(Ayiloor)River’, a sub-tributary of Bharathapuzha is an ideal recreation location with gardens. Boat rides are offered in the vast reservoir to attract tourists. This dam is having a unique status as ‘second largest in Asia without using cement-mixture’. The Kerala government may have to plan for constructionof adequate tourist resorts and budget motels at Nelliyampathy, Pothundy, Nenmara and Kollengode. There will be a good potential to install cable carservice between the gardens in the Pothundy Dam to Nelliyampathy Hill station to boost tourism. The Kerala Tourism can avail the technology transfer from oneof the best global companies for the same.

Though the Kollengode Railway station is the nearest rail-head for Nenmmara and Nelliyampathy, due to the proximity, it had not served the purpose much by the rail connectivitythrough  Kollengode, the Palakkad – Kollengode – Pollachi M.G Line, part ofthe M.G. network in  Palakkad – Kollengode - Pollachi– Palani –Dindigul and Polachi – Podanur sections in the region. This branch line under B.G conversion has potential for linking with trunk routes at three junctions,viz. Palakkad, Podanur and Dindigul. The pending project, Kollengode– ThrissurRail link enabling linkage between major trunk routes  of  Southern Railway at Dindigul and Thrissur, will enhance the potential for traffic earnings and optimum utilisation of rolling-stocks.

Tourists campingatNelliyampathy can be brought down to the valley to see the spectacular show of elephants’ parade and colourful fire works displayed in the Nenmmara-Vallenghy Vela festival. Together with Nenmmara and Vallengy, many villages like Ayalur(Ayiloor), Chittillamcherry, Cheramangalam, Mudapallur,Vadakkumcherry, Pallavoor constitute an enclave of Vela- Kanyarkali festivalsin the months of April-May every year. Kanyarkali festivals are performed intemple premises from desk to dawn and it provides all ingredients offolk-dance-dramas that can attract intellectuals to laymen amongsttourists. 

It is not an exaggerationto say that during the festival season, in this enclave of festivals in thePalakkad district, not even a single day passes without acelebration involvingprocessions by adorned elephants accompanied by drum recitals likeChendamelams, Panchavadyams etc. and colourful fire-works at least in a coupleof temples.

People of the Thrissur-Nenmara- Kollengode and Pollachi- Udumalaipet- Palani regions have lot ofexpectations on the B.G connectivity between Palakkad and Dindigul(180 k.m) aswell as between Podanur to Pollachi (40 k.m). Further if the new line between Kollengode and Thrissur is made possible, it will establish the shortest route from Madurai/Tiruchcchi regions in Central Tamil Nadu to the Cochin regions ofKerala state. Trains between Madurai/Tiruchchi and Thrissur, Guruvayur,Ernakulam, Alleppy etc. can be operated through Pollachi –Kollengode – Thrissurroute, by-passing the traffic saturated Palakkad– Ottappalam – Shoranur/Thrissur sections. Trains towards Malabar region,Mangalore and beyond, through Konakan railways to Uduppi , Goa, Mumbai etc. canmove through Pollachi-Kollengode- Thrissur- Shoranur Jn. as well as through Pollachi-Kolengode –Palakkad - Shoranur sections. In reality the gauge conversion in the Dindigul –Palakkad sector and also the new line between Kollengode and Thrissur will facilitate Tamil Nadu to become one of the major beneficiary states of theKonkan Railways.

The distance fromMaduraito Ernakulam  via. Sengottai –Punalur - Kollam and Alappuza, (after thegauge conversion in Sengottai –Punalur sections) is 411 k.m. Once the gaugeconversion between Dindigul –Palakkad sections is over and also provide the newB.G. link between Kollengodeand Thrissur, the Madurai- Dindigul- Palani -Pollachi- Kollengode – Thrissur sections will offer a shortest route toErnakulam with only 351 k.m. Thus therewill be a reduction of 60 k.m in thedistance between the temple city of Madurai and Ernakulam (Kochi) the “Queen ofArabian Sea”.

After the B.G conversion in Palakkad- Pollachi- Palani - Dindigul sections while Southern Railways can makeit feasible to operate express trains between Alappuza(Alleppy)/Ernakulam/Guruvayur/Mangalore/Kozikkode(Calicut)/Palakkad and temple towns like Palani, Madurai, Rameswaram, Thiruchchi, Nagore, and Velankkanni inTamil Nadu, it should simultaneously operate Passenger Trains aswell. The Kollengode – Thrissur line, by-passing the traffic saturated Palakkad,if implemented will further reduce the distances between Ernakulam and all thesetemple towns by 46 k.m which is included the distance saved of 60 k.m cited above.

The distance from Tiruchchi to Thrissur,Guruvayur or Ernakulam/Cochin (via.Manappara - Dindigul – Palani – Pollachi – Kollengode - Nenmara- Vadakkumcherry-Mannuthy- Thrissur/304 k.m) will be less by69 k.m**whencompared with the present round-about Tiruchchi- Karur - Erode – Podanur-Palakkad – Ottapalam –Wadakkancherry – Thrissur (373 k.m) route.

Further in future,theThrissur- Nenmara – Kollengode - Pollachi- Podanur B.G.sections (129 k.m),willserve as an alternative route to the busy Thrissur- Palakkad Jn. – PodanurJn. (125k.m) double-lined trunk section. Thus Southern Railways can treat this route through the valley of Nelliyampathy hills, lengther by just 4 k.m  asa ‘third line’ between Podanur andThrissur, while it enables to skip the traffic saturated Palakkad Junction.

Kollengode– Thrissur railway that facilitates a chord line from Pollachi, the industrialtown inCoimbatore district of Tamil Nadu well-known for the biggest marketforvegetables, agro products, hill produce etc., to Thrissur the city incentralKerala, known for the Pooram festival, should never carry the tag ofabranch-line within the boundary of Kerala. As the line establishes Pollachi–Kollengode – Thrissur inter-state ‘chord-line’ (89 k.m). It will neverbe extraneous if Tamil Nadu comes forward initiating for this ‘Chord Line’ knowing the potential for augmenting tourism and trade, even if Kerala is notkeen on advocating for the same!

The Pollachi –Kollengode-Thrissur ‘chord’ rail-link will be advantageous for the tourismdevelopment of Nelliyampathy (Kerala), Valparai (TN), Top Slip(TN)hill-stations and many water reservoirs in the region- Pothundy, Mangalam, Peechi, Malampuzha, Chulliar,Meenkara, Aliar, Sholaiyar, Kadamparai, Nirayar and Parambikkulam. Ultimatelythis line will add value to the tourism potential of these hill-stations and nearby dams with gardens, amusement parks,boating lakes, resorts etc. that canbe easily accessible by foreign tourists landing at Kochi, Kozhikkode or Coimbatore airports.

It is a different issue that Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi who had presented the current year’s railwaybudget underwent a unique situation wherein the whole of the party to which hewas associated turned against him and threatened to sack him if the hike inpassenger fares are not rolled back. The hapless minister DineshTrivedi hadresigned even prior to the completion of debates in respect of his budget inthe Parliament. The incumbent Minister Mukul Roy (who was nominated to RajyaSabha solely as a replacement for Dinesh Trivedi) must look into the facts in respect of the decades’ long pending Kollengode – Thrissur railway line.

Railway ministry must gracefully take note of the potential of the Kollengode – Thrissur railway lineand vacatethe project out of repeated and callous resurveys. It is fine if the ministry instantaneously takes forward the project that can augment traffic earnings andoptimal operation of rolling stocks of Southern Railway for implementation in the current Railway Budget itself and undo the injustice done all these years.

The Keralagovernmentmust take all preparations to get the sanction for the Kollengode-Thrissur railway line and it is desirable to seek the support from Tamil Nadu while demanding for the branch line, as Tamil Nadu will be an equal beneficiary from this line which facilitates a chord rail link from Pollachi to Thrissur instead of a round-about link through Palakkad.

Ultimately the Kollengode-Thrissur rail link will add value to the tourism potential of Nelliyampathy Hill station. If implemented, Nelliyampathy will be easily accessible to foreigntourists landing at Kochi, Kozikkode and Coimbatore airports as they can reach the entryway of the hill station - Nenmara town by a train.

On implementation of the Kollengode- Thrissur railway, pilgrims and tourists will get a  circular route – Palakkad – Podanur –Pollachi – Kollengode – Nenmmara- Thrissur- Shoranur – Ottapalam - Palakkad(255 k.m) comprising two smaller circularsections. The first one will bethe  KOLLENGODE – Nenmmara -Vadakkumcherry– Mannuthy – THRISSUR - Wadakkancherry - Shoranur – Ottapalam – PALAKKADJn.- KOLLENGODE circularsection (154 k.m) covering the erstwhile Vengunadu andValluvanadu realms touchingtwo district head quarters- Palakkad and Thrissur.The other one will be the Kollengode – Palakkad – Podanur – Kinattukkadavu– Pollachi – Kollengode (147 k.m) covering the erstwhile Kongunadu, Palakkadand Vengunadu realms.

These circularsectionswill be advantageous for the tourism development of Nelliyampathy (Kerala) andValparai ( T.N) Hill stations and many water reservoirs-Pothundy,  Mangalam, Peechi,Vazhani, Malampuzha,Chulliar, Meenkara, Aliar,Sholaiyar, Kadamparai, Nirayar and Parambikkulam.

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**Details of 'Thrissur- Tiruchchi' distance Saved (69 K.m):THRISSUR-TIRUCHCHI Jn., via. ERODE : Thrissur-Erode 232 K.m+Erode- TiruchciJn.141 k.m=373 k.m; THRISSUR-TIRUCHCHI via. KOLLENGODE, POLLACHI & DINDIGUL:Thrissur-Kollengode 54 k.m + Kollengode-Pollachi-Dindigul 157 k.m+Dindigul-Tiruchchi Jn. 93 k.m = 304 k.m. Distance saved: 373-304=69 k.m   

Notes:-

This ARTICLE is the amended version of my earlier Articles –

Will theRailway Ministry look into the prospects for a ‘chord’ rail link from Pollachito Thrissur? (http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/8265495-will-the-railway-ministry-look-into-the-prospects-for-a-chord-rail-link-from-pollachi-to-thrissur) posted in ‘Allvoices’ on on 22nd February,2011 and Kollengode – Thrissurrailway line: Tale of a neglected fresh green rail corridor from Central TamilNadu to Central Kerala

 

(http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/6429030-kollengode-thrissur-railway-line-tale-of-a-neglected-fresh-green-rail-corridor-from-central-tamil-nadu-to-central-kerala) posted in ‘Allvoices’/31st July,2010 which was based on my  own original Article already published in ‘indianexpress’; see in blogs of indianexpress.com/ expressindia.com on 16th June,2009.

(http://blogs.expressindia.com/showblogdetails.php?contentid=477356).

Can read in ‘Blogspot’ which was posted on 17th June,2009(http://kollengode-thrissur-railway.blogspot.com/2009/06/kollengode-thrissur-railway-line.html);with Malayalam Captions posted on 29th June,2009 in blogspot itself, prior to theRAILWAY BUDGET ON 3rd July,2009 by Railway Minister Ms.Mamata Banerjee. Alsoread my latest Article in Blogspot once again to endure a callous resurvey? (http://kollengode-tcr.blogspot.in/) posted on 28th March,2012

Many people have fully copied my Articles from “expressindia” without mentioning about their copying, and posted in various sites as if they havewritten the Article and few people have quoted in their blogs/ forums.

Sometimes readers may wonder why I have been writing again for theKollengode – Thrissur Railway line as the previous Articles will serve thepurpose. It is to be noted that in this latest Article I have given a thrustfor the tourism development of Nelliyampathy hill station and the need for theKerala Tourismto launch special campaigns - ‘Tea Garden Tourism” and “Festival  Tourism”. FurtherI have a reason to dream on the saidKollengode-Thrissur railway line as I have felt the need for the same rightfrom my school days at my native ‘Ayalur’ Village, just 4 k.m away from Nenmmara. There will be thousandsof people in the Pollachi – kollengode – Nenmmara – Thrissur stretch who are nursing similar dreams.

I would request readers not to copy this Article and post in any other Blogs.

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