SALIENT FEATURES OF THE DISTRICT
DISTRICT HEAD QUARTERS: CUDDALORE TOWN
CLIMATE AND RAINFALL
INCOME AND POVERTY
NLC POWER PLANT
The District of Cuddalore is one of the important districts of the State of Tamil Nadu. The District is located along the Eastern Coastal Region of the State. The District Of Cuddalore Is bordered by the district at Viluppuram, Nagapattinam and Perambalur. The district is also bordered by the Bay of Bengal on the Eastern side. It lies in the Agro Climatic zone II (East Coast Plains and Hills) and the Geographic Coordinates of the district are: Latitude is 150 511 /110 1111 and 120 3511 N, Longitude is 780 38II to 800 0011 and Altitude 4.6m MSL.
The total Geographical area of the district is 3678 Square kilometer with coastal line of 68 Kilometer stretching from Puducherry Union Territory in the North to the mouth of the River Coleroon in the South. The Geomorphology of the Cuddalore Coastal Stretch includes the coastal plain with an average width of 6 km. Its coastal landforms include strandlines, raised beaches, sand dunes, mangrove swamps and tidal flats with predominantly sandy beaches on the northern side and mangrove swamps to the south. The coastal towns of Cuddalore in the North and Porto Novo (Parangipettai) in the South are the most densely populated areas along this region. The district of Cuddalore has some small deposits of lignite that helps the small factories that run in the area.. The district is also one of the most robust fishing areas in the state of Tamil Nadu, and home to a large number of fisher population. The district has the links to the first century settlers in this region. The district also has some tourist attraction for the local people of Tamil Nadu and for people from all over India.
The rivers in the district are Thenpennaiyar, Kedilam, Vellar, Manimuthar and Kollidam. Most of the rivers are dry and flooded only during the monsoon period.
In 2011, Cuddalore had population of 2,605,914 of which male and female were 1,311,697 and 1,294,217 respectively. This gives it a ranking of 158th in India out of 640 total districts in India. The population density is 707 people per square kilometer. Cuddalore has a sex ratio of 984 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 78.04%. In 2001 census, Cuddalore had a population of 22,85,395 of which males were 11,50,908 and remaining 11,34,487 were females. Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 14% and it is marginally low as compared to the state growth rate of 15.6%. The district’s 0-6 Years population is 2.84 million in 2001 and 2.80 Lakhs in 2011 and the decadal growth rate is negative (-1.41). The Total SC population of the district in 2011 is 7.64 lakhs compared to 6.34 lakhs in 2001, resulting in the decadal growth rate of 20.4, which indicates the high concentration of SC population in Cuddalore district.
The name Arcot is derived from the Tamil word “Aaru kadu” which means six forests, the abode of six Rishis. This District was called Thondai Nadu in olden days. It has a specialty “Saandror Udaithu”, which means that great and elite personalities lived in this land. The history of the past shows that the Cuddalore district held a proud position during the rule of Cholas, Pallavas and Pandyas. Cuddalore traded with the Roman Empire approximately 2000 years ago. Archaeological evidence of these ancient trade relationships can be found in the Cuddalore Government Museum in Manjakuppam. This District is the birthplace of Vallalar Ramalingaswami Adigal, Chief Shaivist Appar Saint and ragavendra Swamigal. The famous temple of Lord Nataraja is situated in this district and is regarded as one of the speciality of this district.
The Dutch were the first to conquer Cuddalore, followed by Portugal, France and later Britain. The British bought Fort Saint David in Cuddalore near Devanampattinam from the Gingee Rulers. In 1674, the district came under the control of the British. Cuddalore was the Capital of the English possession on the Coromandal Coast from 1748 to 1752.
Cuddalore a fast growing industrial town and Head quarters of the Cuddalore Taluk and District. It is located at the estuary of river Gedilam and Pennaiyar with Bay of Bengal. The town is at a distance of 200 Kms from Chennai and 22 Kms from Pondicherry. Cuddalore town has been constituted as a Municipality during the year 1866 comprising a revenue village. It has been upgraded as Selection Grade Municipality with effect from 09.05.1993. The area of this town is 27.69 Sq. Kms. There are two large divisions in the town of Cuddalore; the Old Town, and the New Town- Thirupadiripuliyur. The Gedilam river flows through the town and separates the old town from Thirupadiripuliyur. Earlier the name was Cuddalore spelt as Koodalur (meaning; confluence in tamil). It is the place of confluence of three rivers namely Penniyar, Gedilam and Paravanar. Since the British regime, it has been called Cuddalore. The Cuddalore Port is situated at the confluence of the rivers Gedilam and Paravannar discharging as combined river into the sea and it is an anchor point for imports and exports. The Cuddalore Central prison, set in 1865 A.D. is a historically important Landmark as some eminent personalities and freedom fighters like Subramanya Bharathi had served their prison terms here.
The soil of the district are classified as the black, red, ferruginous and arenacious. They are again subdivided into clays, loam and sands. Black soils are observed in the Chidambaram and Vrudhachalam Taluks. The sandy soils are seen along the coast in Cuddalore and Chidambaram Taluks. The younger alluvial soils are found as small patches along the stream and river courses in the district.
Cuddalore district is influenced by both the South West and North East monsoons, the latter is cyclonic in nature and attributable to a series of lows that develop in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal and sweep across the peninsula. Normally this area receives about an annual rainfall of 1086.4 mm. The normal annual rainfall over the district varies from about 1050 mm to about 1400 mm. It is the minimum around Virudachalam (1051 mm). It gradually increases and reaches a maximum around Chidambaram (1402mm) and Porto Novo(1347). The relative humidity recorded in Cuddalore district is about 60 to 83%. Highest humidity percentage is observed during the North East monsoon period i.e., from October through December. Wind velocity is moderate showing its maximum during May and lowest in November. The district has a hot tropical climate. The summer season, which is very oppressive, is from March to May. The southwest monsoon, which follows, lasts till September. October to December constitutes North East monsoon season. January to February is the comparatively cooler period. The highest and lowest temperatures recorded are in June (40.3 C),and January (20.4 C) respectively.
Cuddalore District comprises 896 Revenue villages which are in turn formed into 3 Revenue Divisions,viz Cuddalore Chidhambaram, Virdhachalam, 10 Administrative Taluks viz Cuddalore, Panruti, Kurinjipadi, Chidhambaram, Kattumannarkoil, Bhuvanagiri, Srimushnam, Virdhachalam, Veppur and Tittakuti, 683 in village panchayats 14 Panchayat Unions viz Cuddalore, Annagramam, Panruti, Kurinjipadi, Keerapalayam, Melbhuvanagiri, Parangipettai, Kattumannarkoil, Srimushnam, Kumaratchi, Virdhachalam, Nallur, Kammapuram, and Mangalore, 5 Municipalities VIZ, Cuddalore, Nellikuppam, Panruti, Chidhambaram, and Virdhachalam, and 16 Town Panchayats and One Town ship (Neyveli)
Cuddalore district is at the tail end of the Cauvery delta region. Parts of the district get water from the irrigation canals that bring water from Mettur dam. Ground water from Neyveli mines also provides irrigation coverage to crops. According to a rough estimate, 60% of the farms are dependent solely on rainfall and the rest have access to irrigation/ground water pumps. In Cuddalore district, 592 tanks, 270 canals and one major reservoir serve as the main source for irrigation. Wellington reservoir is the major reservoir in Thittagudi Taluk and Veeranam tank is the major irrigation source in Chidambaram and Kattumannar Koil Taluks. In Cuddalore taluk, Perumal Lake is the major surface irrigation source. Generally, for Agriculture purpose maximum amount of available water resource are utilized though minor irrigation schemes. The surface flow in the rivers can be observed only during monsoon periods. The deficient monsoon rainfall has affected the flow of surface water into reservoirs, anaicuts, lakes etc. Hence under these circumstances the agriculturists have to totally depend upon an alternative source i.e., ground water to meet their irrigation requirement. The south eastern part of this district is coming under Cauvery ayacut, irrigated by the lower Anaicut-Vadalur Veeranam-Perumal tank irrigation system.
In Cuddalore District agriculture continues to be the dominate sector in the economic development sustaining 80% of population . It also prides employment opportunities to rural population . About 75% of the total geographical areas of this District is under circulation among which 60% are irrigated and 40% rain fed
The cashews is ground in red soils in the areas around panruti, Vadalur, Neyveli and Virdhachalam and 60% of the states production of cashews is accounted for by the District.
The Chief crops of the District are Paddy, Cumbu, Ragi, Cholam, Redgram , Gingelly, Tapiaco, Greengram, Cashewnet and Black gram. The major cash crops viz, Sugarcane, Coconut, Groundnut and Banana are also cultivated in considerable area. Panruti a famous place for Jack fruit in Tamilnadu. The Cashew and Jack fruit earns considerable foreign exchange to the fames.
In addition vegetables such as brinjal , ladies finger, onion, tomoto,etc. are also grown in the District.
The total area covered under the Forest in the district are 4116.05 hectares. Reserve Forest covers 3689.05 Hectares hectares and Reserve land 427 hectares. Most of the forest areas lie in Panruti, Chidambaram Kattumannarkoil, Vridhachalam and Titakudi Taluks.
Cuddalore district is one of the most potential districts, not only for marine, but also for land and brackish water resources. The district has a coast line of 57.5 Kms. There is 27,966 hectare of inland water resources namely major irrigation and long seasonal tanks, Fish Farmer’s Development Agency (FFDA) tanks, derelict water and aquaculture farms.
In Cuddalore district 1730 Elementary/Middle Schools, 226 High Schools and 219 Higher Secondary Schools are functioning. Seven Engineering colleges, one Medical/Dental College, 10 Polytechnic Colleges and 15 Industrial Training Institutes, 34 Teacher Training Institutes, 12 Arts and Science colleges, one University namely Annamalai university is functioning in the district apart from other small educational institutions.
Medical and Health care services are provided to the people of Cuddalore district under several programmes besides general health care system. There are nine Allopathic hospitals and 1484 beds in those hospitals. One Ayurvedic hospital and one Unani hospital is present in the district. The number of Primary Health Centers in the district is 80 and sub health centers are 319. Apart from these several other private hospitals are also functioning in the district.
The per capital income per annum of the Cuddalore district in 2011 is Rs 41,840/- which was at Rs.30,864/- during 2001. However this is low compared to the Tamil Nadu State’s per capital income of Rs.48,216/-. The total number of households in the district is 615,346 and the total no. of households below poverty line is 2,27,472 and they comprise 36.97% of the total households. The census data 2001 and 2011 reveals that the worker participation, both male and female workers of the district has marginally increased.
a) Road : Cuddalore is connected to other routs of Tamil Nadu through a very good rail and road Network. National Highways covered 194.80 Kms. National Highway NH45A Road links Villupuram and Nagapattinam district, NH45C Road connects the district with Trichy district. The state Highways links the various parts of the district with the nearby urban areas and they cover 1899.10 Kms.
b) Rail : Three railways lines are diverging from Cuddalore junction connecting 27 railway stations in the district. They are Cuddalore-Villupuram-Chennai, Cuddalore – Mayiladuthurai – Tiruchirappalli, Cuddalore – Mayiladuthurai – Velankanni and Cuddalore-Vridhachalam-Salem. The length of broad gauge line is 188 Kms.
c) Ports : The District has two ports, one being Cuddalore Old Town (O.T.) and the other at Parangipettai. While there is no activity at Parangipettai port, limited imports and exports being are carried out at Cuddalore O.T port. The exports at iron ore and imports of chemicals and fertilizers. In 17th Century the Parangipettai port was associated with the Portuguese, Dutch and the British.
Silver beach which remains swarmed with tourists round the year is situated in the eastern side of Cuddalore in Devanampattinam. The Neyveli Lignite Corporation in Neyveli which generates 3000 MW of power per year from three stations is also a place of tourist attraction. Pichavaram mangrove forest is located between two prominent estuaries, the Vellar estuary in the north and Coleroon estuary in the south. The backwaters, interconnected by the Vellar and Coleroon river provide wide scope for water sports such as rowing kayaking and canoeing . Pichavaram is known for its backwater and mangrove forests. Cuddalore district is well known for its temples. The most famous of these is the temple of Shiva Temple where the main deity is Padaleeswarar. It is located in Thiruppadiripuliur. Chidambaram, a town, known for dance and Lord Nataraja, is only 43 kms away from Cuddalore. Thiruvananthapuram temple , the Sacred Abode of Lord Devanatha, is one of the ancient Vaishnavite temple and also one of the 108 Vaishnavite shrines sanctified by the visit of the great Alwars and Acharyas. At Srimushnam, there is a famous Vaishnava temple of Bhuvaraha, representing the Varaha Avatar (an incarnation of the Hindu God Maha Vishnu.
The thermal power generated by the district is 19567.34 MU and 128.221MU is purchased from outside to meet the consumption needs of various sectors namely agriculture, industry apart from public lighting, domestic and commercial consumption. Rural electrification is rigorously carried out to support the agriculture sector.
In the past, Cuddalore main industry was fishing. Although Cuddalore was once a port town, the shipping trade has now moved to larger centers. Tamilnadu’s development plans for the area include a heavily subsidized industrial park, SIPCOT Industrial Complex, under the auspices of the State –owned corporation State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited. SIPCOT was formed in 1975 near the coastal areas of Cuddalore. to promote small medium and large scale industries in “backward” area by providing a host of incentives and infrastructure for industries to locate in certain areas. The Cuddalore industrial complex is a home to a number of chemical, biotech, pharmaceutical and fertilizer companies. A new harbuor for ship building industry is under construction Further Cuddalore district hosts energy industries and also has got strong base on handicrafts industries. Traditional handicrafts units are spread over across the district. Cashews, cashew kernel, organic chemicals, marine products, ceramics and jeweelries are exported to other countries.
There are 3 Private sugar factories at Nellikuppam and Pennadam and Sithur one co-operative Sugar mill at Sethiathope. These factories are not only producing Sugar but also produce rectified spirit and carbonic gas. E.I.D. PARRY Company Ltd,Nellikuppam is producing confectionary.
Ceramic factories at Vridhachalam and Vadalur are producing crockery and Sanitaryware. A huge refinery unit is also proposed by private sector.
Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) a public sector enterprise was incepted in the year 1956. The main core activity of NLC is lignite excavation and power generation using lignite excavated. NLC is having lignite mining units named as Mine I, Mine II, and Mine IA Neyveli. Also raw lignite is being sold to small scale industries to use it as fuel in their production activities. It is presently mining 242.27 Lakhs MT of lignite and has an installed capacity of 3000 MW Thermal electricity and 10 MW Solar Power electricity. It also supplies a large quantity of sweet water to Chennai from the artesian aquifers in the lignite mines. All the southern states are beneficiaries of this power generation project. NLC is pioneer among the public sector under takings with complex industries under its fold. The other constituents units of the company are fertilizer plant and Briquetting and Carbonization plant. Briquetting and carbonization plant at NLC produced coke from lignite which is sold under the popular trade name LECO. The coke produced in the plant is extensively used in the industrial sector by virtue of its special properties. NLC has well-developed township in Neyveli in the district.
Cuddalore has always been classified as a multi-hazard prone district. Cyclones and flood have wreaked havoc in the district several times in the past few centuries. The District also falls within the Zone-3 with respect to earthquakes. A part of the problem owes its genesis to the location of the district. The District has a long coastline and therefore the district is vulnerable to the cyclonic depressions and the resultant rains which cause floods. The Bay of Bengal experiences severe tropical cyclones during North East Monsoon [October through December]. The cyclone surges are well known for their destructive potential and impact on human activities due to associated strong winds along the coast and heavy rainfall. An added risk factor is that large parts of the coastal zone are low lying and with a gentle slope, resulting in large inundation, and therefore increased vulnerability of the region. The district suffers from flooding when excess water flows down the local rivers and over the field due to northeast monsoon rains in the district . The drainage is poor and the encroachments over the drought years have led to a scenario where even rainfalls, which are slightly above normal causes floods disrupting the normal course of work. Along the coast of Tamil Nadu, the Nagapattinam–Cuddalore region experienced the worst impacts of the Tsunami surge and inundation caused by the great Sumatra Earthquake on 26th December 2004. The surge heights of waves along this coastal region were of the order of 2-5 to3-3m, with inundation distances between 330 and 1,680 m into the hinterland. The devastation caused by the Tsunami has left coastal lands flattened and billions of dollars worth infrastructure, economic assets and materials were devastated. According to the official statistics, the proportion of human toll among women was three times more than men in Cuddalore district. It had severe impact on coastal fishing communities in Cuddalore destroying houses, boats, fishing gear agricultural land and salt pans wiping out the livelihoods of millions of people. Subsequently, Cyclonic Storm Thane was the strongest tropical cyclone of 2011 with in the North Indian Ocean. Thane made landfall, on the north Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Puducherry and left at least 39 people dead in Cuddalore district. Nisha in 2008 and Cyclone Thane in December 2011 created surge heights of waves between 1 and 5m.