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CHAPTER - 2 PROFILE OF KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT

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AREA PROFILE
2. 1 PROFILE OF KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT
Kanyakumari is the southern most district of the peninsular India,the seventh largest country in the world. In Kanyakumari, the Indian ocean, the Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal embrace one another. Kanyakumari district comprises of four taluks of the erstwhile Travancore Cochin state. The present Kanyakumari district was formed on the first of November 1956, as a result of the reorganization of states on linguistic basis. This district is the smallest in the state of Tamil Nadu (with the exception of the district of Madras) lying at the southern most tip of the country. As in the case of the rest of the districts in the state of Tamil Nadu, the economy of this district is also agriculture - based. However, it is endowed with a lovely coastline and rich mineral resources like ilmenite and retile. Kanyaumri district is named after the goddess, Kanyakumari. The district headquarters is at Nagercoil, endowed with all kinds of natural resources from land, sea, forest, and mountains. This district is by nature and heritage, predominantly agrarian with 68 percent of the land utilized for agricultural purposes. This district is blessed with its vast stretches of green paddy fields, rich forests, coconut groves and coast line. This district has a coastline of about 68 km.

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2.2 HISTORY
Kanyakumari has a hoary past in ancient history dating back to the Sangam age and was a cradle of civilization. The Tamil culture which had its origin in the Zumaurian continent, of which Kanyakumari was a part. The district has a large number of historic monuments and temples. A series of kingdoms under famous kings are known to have existed in Kanyakumari, the most important being the Chera, Chola and Pandia upto the early fifties of this century. This region was part of Travancore samasthanam, the present day Kerala, where the Tamil speaking

population treated as second class citizens struggled to merge with Tamil Nadu. As per the recommendations of the state re organizing commission, the regions of Agasteeswaram, Thovalai, Kalkulam and Vilavancode were grouped to form the Kanyakumari district. On November 1, 1956, Kanyakumari district of TamilNadu state came into existence with Nagercoil as its Head quarters, which crowned the struggle for separation from Kerala and merger with Tamilnadu

2.3 LOCATION AND ORIGIN


Kanyakumari is situated between 770 - 05` and 770 36` of eastern longitude and 80- 03 and 80-36 of the northern latitude, occupying a total area of 1672 sq. km. It is bordered with Tirunelveli district in the north and north east, Kerala in the northwest and by the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal in the south and western sides respectively1.

District statistics Hand Book of Kanyakumari District 1991-92.P.1

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2.4 POPULATION
According to 2001 census, the district had a total population of 16, 69, 763 which comprised of 8, 56, 542 males and 8,40,221 females. The density of population was 999 per sq. km. The details of population, literates and sex are given in Table No. 2.1

TABLE NO : 2.1
AREA WISE AND SEX WISE POPULATION IN KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT IN 2001
Population Persons Rural 582761 Male Literates Female Persons Male Female

2901772 290172 452832 547632 867732

231718 22114 443221 424511

Urban 1087002 539370 Total 1669763 829542

840221 1320564 674949 645625

Source : District statistical Handbook 2005, Kanyakumari District.

2.5 POPULATION OF SC AND ST


Of the total population of Kanyakumari district, 4.60 percent belong to the scheduled caste and 0.31 percent to scheduled tribes. Table No. 2.2 gives a detailed account of the population of scheduled caste and scheduled tribes in various blocks and municipalities of Kanyakumary district in 2001

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TABLE NO. 2. 2 SCHEDULED CASTE AND SCHEDULED TRIBES IN KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT IN 2001
Sl.. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Block/ Municipalities Agesteeswaram Rajakamangalam Thovalai Kurentencode Thuckalay Thiruvattar Killiyoor Munchirial Melpuram Nagercoil Padmanabapuram Colechel Kuzhithurai Scheduled caste Scheduled tribe

Person Male Female Person Male Female 13397 7348 11344 7866 5386 4510 2777 6257 7310 7483 2225 580 379 76862 6577 3677 5657 4029 2722 2247 1383 3080 3624 3719 1152 272 190 6820 3671 5687 3837 2664 2263 1384 3177 3686 3764 1073 308 189 513 55 487 35 19 2237 61 143 1275 342 10 4 42 5223 251 29 271 18 5 1121 32 65 630 170 5 2 23 262 26 216 17 14 1116 29 78 645 172 5 2 19

Source : Census of India, 2001.

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Kanyakumary has people belonging to different castes, such as, Brahmins, Vellalas, Nadars and a sizeable number of SC/ST people. From the table it is clear that Agstheeswaram block has the maximum number of SC people the total number being 13397. It is followed by Thovalai block with 11344. As far as ST people are concerned Thriruvattar block has the maximum of 2, 237 persons. In total there were 76,862 SC persons and 5,223 ST persons as per the 2001 census.

2.6 RELIGION
Tamil Nadu has people belonging to Hinduism, Islam and Christian religion with a sprinkling of saints. As elsewhere in the state, the district consists of Hindus, Muslims, Christians and others. However, Christain population is the largest in number in the district. Among Hindus, there is a separate religious sect known as Ayya vazhi based on the precepts propounded by Ayya vaikundar3.

2.7 LANGUAGE
Kanyakumari is a bilingual state. Tamil and Malayalam are the two languages spoken in this district, though Tamil is the official language.4

2.8 ADMINISTRATION SET UP


This district has been divided into two revenue divisions

consisting of two taluks each, ie, Padmanabhapuram revenue division consisting of Vilavancode and Kalkulam taluks and Nagercoil revenue division consisting of Agasteeswaram and Thovalai taluks. There are four

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District statistical Hard Book in Kanyakumari - 2002 Districl Staistics Hand Book, Kanyakumari. 2003

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municipalities Nagercoil, Padmanaphapuram, Colachel and Kuzhithurai. For the purpose of better administration the district has been divided into 9 community development blocks, 155 panchayats (56 town panchayats and 99 village panchayats ) and1207 hamlets in 2001.5

2.9 EDUCATION
Kanyakumari district ranks first in literacy level in Tamil Nadu and boasts of 100 percent literacy. The total number of educational institutions was 933 in 2005. The various statistics regarding educational institutions in Kanyakumary district are listed in Table No: 2.3.

TABLE NO: 2.3 EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS OF KANYAKUMARY DISTRICT IN 2005


Sl. No. 1. 2. 3. Institutions Arts and Science Colleges B.Ed colleges Medicine Allopathy Indian Medicine Homeopathy 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Engineering College for special education Pre primary school Primary schools Middle schools High schools Higher secondary school Teacher Training Institute Total Number of Institution 16 7 1 1 2 7 8 83 413 147 120 122 6 933

Source : District Statistical Handbook, Nagercoil.

District Statistical Handbook of Kanyakumari P.O

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Recently there has been a mushrooming of many engineering colleges and colleges of education. From table 4.4 it can be easily inferred that women are almost at par with men as regards the number of persons who had registered. The total number of unemployed male persons was 121616 while the number of women who had registered was 117419. The largest number of them were those who had completed matriculation level of education and the number was 174733. Once again, it is evident from the table that the number of men and women belonging to this category were almost equal. The total number of youth who had registered with Higher Secondary education was 31883. Here women exceeded men. I.T.I holders came last with just 462 registered candidates. It has the largest number of professional and educational institutions

2.10 LITERACY
Next to Ernakulam in Kerala , Kanyakumari achieved the enviable status of 100 percent literacy. In Kanyakumari district the

literacy rate is very high. In this district the total number of literate persons is 13, 20, 564 out of which 6, 74, 939 are males and 6, 45,625 are females in the year 2001. Similarly the literacy rate has gone up from 82. 06 in 1991 by 88.16 in 2001.

2.11 UNEMPLOYMENT
The district has been producing many educated persons. The educated youth duly register themselves in the Employment Exchange. The number of unemployed youths, who have registered their names in the Employment Exchange, exceeded two lakhs in 2001. The details of registered unemployed persons in Kanyakumari district are given in the following table.no.2.4

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TABLES NO. 2.4 REGISTERED UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE IN KANYAKUMARY DISTRICT IN 2001


Category Below Matriculates Matriculates Higher Secondary Diploma holders in Engineering I.T.I. holders Total Male 13056 88828 15404 3866 462 121616 Female 10697 85905 16479 3522 816 117419 Total 23753 174733 31883 7388 1278 239035

Source : District Statistical Handbook, Nagercoil

2.12 AGRICULTURE
The district economy depends mainly upon agriculture and its allied activities. The most important crops raised here are paddy, tapioca, coconut, banana, rubber, cashew nut, mango pineapple and pepper. Agriculture is the main source of income. The total area of land under cultivation has been estimated at 91507 hectares in this district in 2005. The net area sown, area sown more than once, and total area cultivation in this district for the past five years are given in the Table No.2.5

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TABLE NO: 2.5 AREA UNDER CULTIVATION IN KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT IN 2005

Item 1. Net area sown 2. Area sown more than once 3. Total area cultivated

2001

2002

2003 79713 14661

2004 78829 8975

2005 78536 12971

80820 80944 17628 17380

98448 98324

94374

87804

91507

Source: Season and crop report of Tamil Nadu 2005.

2.13 LAND USE PATTERN


The total land in Kanyakumari district is 1672. 67 hectares, of which 48.9 per cent is under cultivation, 32.2 per cent is forest and the remaining 18.5 per cent is occupied by dams, canals, roads and buildings. Total area cultivated in 2003 2004 is 94, 314 hectares and the area sown is 79,713. Area sown more than once is 14, 601 hectares. The land use pattern in Kanyakumari district is given in Table No. 4.6 in 2003 04.

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TABLE NO: 2.6 LAND USE PATTERN IN KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT IN 2003 2004
Percentage to the total geographical area 32.39 1.99

Sl. No. 1 2

Particulars

Area (in hectares) 54155 3335

Forests Barren & uncultivated land Land for non agri. Uses Cultivated waste Permanent pastures and grassy Land and miscellaneous trees and groves Fallow land Net area sown

3 4 5

25435 2233 72

15.21 1.33 0.04

6 7 8

611 1630 79713

0.37 9.97 47.68

Source : District statistical Handbook, Nagercoil.

2.14 OCCUPATIONAL PATTERN OF PEOPLE


The main occupations of the people in the district are

agriculture, fishing, weaving, brick making, coir marking, cashew processing, and rubber tapping. The total number of workers in this district is 5, 45, 605 out of which 16, 067 are cultivators, 81, 099 occupy

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32.39 percent of the total geographical area in this district. It is followed by 15.21 percent of area of non agricultural land used as permanent pastures and grass lands by the agricultural labourers. 38, 514 people work in household industries and 3,13,487 are other workers of whom 95,538 are marginal workers6.

2.15 CLIMATE AND RAINFALL


Unlike other districts in Tamilnadu, Kanyakumari district has the unique advantage of good rain fall during the South west and

Northeast Monsoons. The period of North east Monsoon is from June to September while that of Southwest Monsoon is from October to December. The annual rainfall ranges between 90 and 160 cm and the average is 140 cm. The Monsoon winds, the proximity of the sea and mountains and forests of the Western Ghats greatly influence the climate of this district. The summer is not very hot ; and the winter is also not very cold. The details of the rainfall form the year 2000 to 2004 are given in Table No.2.7.

S.P.Anand. op.cit P-42-43

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TABLE NO : 2.7 RAIN FALL IN KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT DURING 2000 2004

North east monsoon June to September Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Normal 526.0 526.0 526.0 526.0 526.0 Actual 864. 6 650.9 239.8 769.1 526.0

Southwest monsoon October to December Normal 559. 1 559.1 559.1 559.1 559.1 Actual 360.8 484.8 768.38 239.8 559.1

Source : District statistical Handbook, Nagercoil. The district has had the good fortune of having more than normal monsoon rains . except during 2002 from north east monsoon .

2.16 SOIL CONDITION


In Kanyakumari district there are three main soil groups. They are laterite type, which occurs in the Blocks of Thiruvattar, Munchirai, Kurnthencode, Rajakkamangalam, Killioor, Thuckalay and Melpuram. The mixed type of red loam and coastal alluvial soil is found in Agasteeswaram and Thovalai blocks.7

Socio-economic Review of Kanyakumari.

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2.17 SOURCES OF IRRIGATION


As Kanyakumari is an agrarian district, and as paddy is the main crop, cultivation depends mainly on irrigation. In Kanyakumari District rivers, dams and channels are the important sources of irrigation. The important rivers, dams and cannels are given in the table below.

TABLE NO. 2.8 SOURCES OF IRRIGATION IN KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT 2002 03


Rivers Dams Channels Pandhiyan karai Thovalai channel Regulatory kalavi Anandarnal channel Nanchinad Puthanar - Channel Padmanabhapuram Puthanar channel

Thamiraparasni Pandhiyan dam Pazhayar Pooniavaikal Paraliyar Puthendam Pechipparai dam Perunchani dam Chittar dam I Chittar dam II

Source : Indian Oversears Bank, Annual credit plan 2002 03. Among the various sources of irrigation on which the cultivation of crops depends, tanks come first which, irrigate the largest area of 15794 hectares ,followed by canals which irrigate 11114 hectares. Compared to these two major sources of irrigation, wells also irrigate an area of 1420 hectares. Land irrigated by various sources are illustrated in Table No. 2.9

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TABLE NO : 2.9 LAND IRRIGATED BY VARIOUS SOURCES IN 2000

Sl. NO. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Type of irrigation Canals Tanks Wells Othersources Total

Area irrigated (in hectares) 11, 114 15.794 1420 480 29,071

Source : DRNA Kanyakumari District Annual Report 2000 2001

2.18 LIVESTOCK RESOURCES


Kanyakumari district offers a good agro climate for the development of animal husbandry. Livestock resources along with dairying offer a more stable and sustainable income to the rural households of the district. The livestock population of the district in 2001 is furnished in Table No. 2.10.

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TABLE N0:2.10 LIVESTOCK POPULATION IN KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT IN 2001

Sl. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Types of livestock Milch animal Goat Poultry Sheep Pigs Ducks Total

Numbers 136520 (15. 91%) 62484 (7. 28 %) 648598 (75. 58%) 1570 (0.18%) 3642 (0.42%) 5384 (0. 63%) 848195 (100)

Source: Gazetters of India, Kanyakumari district, 2001. From the values given in brackets, it is easily understandable that poultry and milch animals jointly constitute 91.49 percent. Poultry alone forms 75.58 percent, while milch animals contribute only 15.91 percent.

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2.19 FISHERIES
Kanyakumari district is famous for fish production. It has both inland and marine fishing centers. It has a long coastal line of 68 kms. Fish has a prominent place in the diet of the people of Kanyakumari district. There are five coastal blocks and 42 coastal landing centers. In the district, the fish production has decreased from 49951 tons in 2001 02 to 16, 308 tons in 2004 05. The total inland fish production has also decreased from 2,870 tons in 2001 02 to 2, 159 tons in 2004 058

2.20 INDUSTRIES
Though the districts is educationally forward industrially it is backward. It has only 649 registered working factories. There were 645 large scale industries, 991 small scale industries and 121 cottage industries, which promote the development and welfare of the rural as well as the urban people of the district in 2004. Thus compared to other districts in Tamilnadu, Kanyakumari has very few industries.9

2.21 WIND MILLS AND ENERGY


Kanyakumari is famous for its windmill and wind energy. Windmills are localized in and around Aralvoimozhi in Thovalai taluk.It can boast of the largest wind mill farm in Asia. It produced 226.950 M.V of electricity in 2003 2004. The total hydropower generalized in this district is 154. 230M.V. in 2003 2004. There is no thermal plant in this district.10

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Socio-economic Review of Kanyakumari (2001-2002) Kanyakumary District Annual plan for 1987 , P-31s 10 Annual Credit Plan 92-93

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2.22 MINERAL RESOURCES


As far as mineral resources are concerned the district is in a satisfactory position. Limestone deposites are there in Thovalai and Agesteeswaram blocks, while granite is available in Tiruvattar, Thuckalay, Kurunthocode and Agasteewaram blocks. Manavalakurichi, a coastal area, is naturally blessed with rare earth minerals like brown, ilmenite, monazite, rutile, garnet, silumerite and zircon. M/s Indian Rare Erath Ltd. Manavalakurichi, a Central Government Enterprise, is engaged in the separation of these minerals. Some minerals are exported to Japan and other countries from Colachel coast. This has secured Kanyakumari district a place in the map of the world. There is also a demand for setting up a Titanium factory. The annual production and the end use of the major minerals of the district are given in Table No. 2.11 in 2001.

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TABLE NO. 2.11 PRODUCTION, VALUE AND END USE OF MAJOR MINERALS DURING 2001
Sl. No. 1 2. 3. 4. 5. Name of the mineral Ilmenite (Block sand) Monazite (Radioactive material) Zircon Rutile (Titan oxide) Garnet (Silicon carbon) Production Value (in tons) Rs. In 000 90700 3100 9650 4000 6540 2380875 9000 1737000 126000 16350 End use White paint Atomic Energy Atomic Energy Welding electrodes Abrasives and grinding wheels

Source: District statistical Handbook 2001

2. 23 FOREST RESOURCES
Forest occupied an area of 54155 hectares in 20032004 which forms 32. 4 percent of the total geographical area of Kanyakumari district. The major portion of the forest area lies in Thovalai, Thiruvattar and Melpuram blocks. The elevation of the Forest Range from the sea level is estimated at 1850 m. Forest in Kanyakumari district has about 606 species of gigantic timber trees and 350 other plants many of which have high economic value. In the forest area the plantation crops such as coffee, tea, rubber, pepper and cardamom are grown in plenty.11

11Kanyakumari District Annual Action plan for 1987, P-31.

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2. 24 TRANSPORT IN KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT


Roadways connect the entire Kanyakumari district. There are no airports and seaports in this district. The total length of roads and railways is given in Table No. 2.12.

TABLES NO. 2. 12 TRANSPORT IN KANYAKUMARI DISTRICT IN 2005

SL. NO.

PARTICULARS

LENGTH IN KM

1.

Road length a) National Highways b) state Highways c) Corporation and Municipalities d) Pancheyat union and Panchyat road E) Town Panchyat road f) Others (forest road)

84.37 1185.947 295. 619 1766. 346 2015. 66 36. 88

2.

Railways a) Railways length broad gauge 78

Source : District Statistical Hand Book 2005, Kanyakumari district.

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2.25 BEE KEEPING INDUSTRY


The development of Bee keeping industry is primarily taken up through 27 State KVI Boards and 192 Registered Institutions and Co operative Societies directly financed by KVIC. KVIC has launched a national programme for three years on Bee keeping.12

2.26 AGRICULTURAL BACKGROUND OF THE DISTRICT:


The district depends entirely on agriculture for its income. Various agricultural commodities are cultivated in the district. In the Western Ghats, plantation crops like tea, coffee, rubber, spices and tobacco are raised. Where as in the plains paddy, banana, coconut and vegetables are grown . Agriculture is the main source of income . There are about three thousand small scale industries in Kanayakumari district. There are about ninety different types of industries .Commercial banks play a vital role in catering to the financial needs of farmers and industries .Cooperative Housing Societies have also started functioning in different localities for providing loan to different crops, which are stated in the following table.

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Census of India 1981, P-13

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TABLES NO. 2. 13 LAND USE PATTERN OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT IN KANYAKUMARY DISTRICT.


Crops cultivated Paddy Coconut Other crops Tapioca Banana Black gram Rubber Arec nut Black pepper Area cultivated 8332 2796 1771 1765 1264 655 303 173 10

Source : District Statistical Hand Book, Kanyakumari district.

The table clearly exhibits the area used for different types of agricultural crops. Among the agricultural crops, paddy stands first with 8332 hectares of land. It constitutes 49% of the total area. Coconut stands second with 2796 hectares. It is also noted that very little area is used for the cultivation of black pepper.

2.27 FISHERIES
This district has a coastline of 68km spread over the west coast and east coast .About 8000 fishermen are actively engaged in fishing. An area of one lakh hectare is reported to be suitable for marine fishing .One of the richest fishing ground in the world, namely Wedge Banks, lies 88km south of Kanyakumari and extends to about 56km on either side of Cape comorin.

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2.28 BANKS, INSURANCE COMPANIES , POSTOFFICES, AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS: Kanyakumari district is endowed with a very good network of Post Offices, Commercial Banks and other insurance companies. Commercial Banks play an important role in providing finance both to the agricultural and industrial sector. Indian Overseas Bank and its branches operate in most areas. State Bank of Travancore occupies the second position with 24 branches.

2.29 TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION


The district has a metalled road length of 2621.70kms, and 167 post offices to take care of the present transport and communication needs. All the villages are connected by road and transport system. The head quarters of the district, Nagercoil is well connected with other major cites of the State both by Express Bus routes and Rail.

2.30 CONCLUSION
It is clear that Kanyakumari district is equipped with rich infrastructure like Educational Institutions, Industries, Fishing, and Tourist centers. It shows highly developed agricultural situations. The

improvement in the agricultural sector shows that there is ample scope for the industrial development in this district with the help of the Bee Keeping industry.

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