Kannur in Kerala gets the rare distinction of being the first district in India where every family owns a piece of land.
“It is a historic step. Every family of landless poor in the district is going to get three cents of land for building a house,” Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said while declaring Kannur as India’s first landless-free district.
He urged all states to emulate the example of Kerala in distribution of land, saying it requires “political will and hard decisions”.
The ambitious project has already chalked out the list of beneficiaries who will get state and central government aid to construct houses under Indira Awaas Yojana.
Though the national land reform policy stipulates that every landless person should be provided 10 cents of land to construct a house, that allocation was not possible in Kerala due to shortage of available land in the state.
Considering the tough task for the state administration to spot adequate land, this project becomes a laudable effort, which will indeed make Kerala a role model for other states in the country.
The Munderikkadavu wetland, nestled on the banks of the Munderi river in Kannur , has become the fourth bird sanctuary in Kerala. The other three bird sanctuaries being Kadalundi, Thattekad and Kumarakom. Munderikkadavu, which is home to over 100 different species of birds, is all set to become a bird sanctuary. The Kerala wetlands get over 1 lakh winged visitors including 60 migratory species every year including Eurasian wigeon, black-headed bunting and red-headed bunting among others.
Mundrikkadavu bird sanctuary is being allotted an amount of over 20 lakhs and this innovative project will go a long way in nature conservation and to bring man and nature closer. Though basic facilities like roads and parking area are being planned, these will be done in such a way that the natural habitat of the birds are not disturbed. The wetland that spreads over 1,000 acres will be a haven for bird-watchers from far and wide in the coming days. Ornithologists warn that the fast depletion of wetlands might cause the extinction of many bird species and wetland conservation is the only way to ensure the conservation of these winged beauties. Munderikkadavu wetland project will be a small step in the right direction for conservation of the avian population.
The Ayodhya-Babri Masjid dispute issue is finally set for verdict tomorrow, on Thursday September 30, 2010. The Allahabad High Court will be making the historic judgement on this issue that has caused agony to our motherland. This issue has its own effect in our little state Kerala.
Although a small state in appearance, our state has contributed big in creating terrorists in and around the country. Above all our beautiful state is known for creating a ruckus of even the smallest issues happening at the international level. It’s no wonder that the state government is on alert!
Prevention is better than cure: Kerala government is ensuring tight security throughout the state as a precautionary measure against the background of the verdict on Ayodhya case.
Some of the security measures taken include-
2. Ban orders came into force in Ernakulam district from this morning.
3. Restrictions on organising of marches, meetings and demonstrations are to be declared in other districts.
4. About 30,000 policemen are proposed to be deployed by midnight to enforce the orders and maintain peace.
5. Preventive arrests are also likely.
6. Special security is being extended to important places of worship, railway stations and bus stands.
7. Armed reserves have positioned in district centres.
8. The media is warned against speculating the outcome of the Ayodhya dispute until they have a copy of the issues of the judgement by the Court and the operational part of the order.
Kerala seems to be ready to face any untoward incident that may crop up post the verdict. The Allahabad High Court announced that there are plans on making the judgment available to the people via the internet.
Let us hope the verdict finally brings peace to all and allow the Gods to rest peacefully in our ‘God’s Own Country’.
Mangrove Forests are lately in the news in Kerala since CPI (M) got involved with the establishment of a Mangrove theme park in Valapattanam of Kannur district. The theme park is now shut following a controversy. The Kerala Coastal Zone Management Ministry ordered its closure on the charges that it was functioning in violation of Coastal Regulatory Zone(CRZ).
CPI (M) is very keen on developing Kannur, don’t know whether their sole intention is development or is it a mere political agenda hidden behind it? Their first initiative was the Parassinikadavu Water Theme Park. The Mangrove Park is under the Pappinisseri Eco-Tourism Society in which CPI (M) Central Committy member E.P. Jayarajan serves as the advisor. The park is located in the 12 acres close to the Valapattanam Bridge and towards the east side of the Valappattanam River.
The park was beautified with a walk-way through the Mangroves, bright lamps that’ll make the night to look like a day, colourful water fountain, special zone for children’s entertainment, fish tanks, conference hall and small food huts. Bridges, two jetties and an observation tower in the river were also built along with it. The owners have already spend a sum of one crore for the park and is expecting 5 crores as expenditure in the next five years.
Although they have established the park saying that it was for the development and protection of Mangroves and the different species live in it, it’s clear that the park is in no way going to help it. Not only won’t the park help in the Mangroves protection but it can completely endanger the ecosystem of the living species here.
How mangrove forests help our environment?
Mangrove forests are naturally resilient, having withstood severe storms and changing tides for many millennia. Mangroves have specially adapted aerial and salt-filtering roots and salt-excreting leaves which enable them to occupy the saline wetlands where other plant life cannot survive.
- Mangroves’ protective buffer zone helps shield coastlines from storm damage and wave action, minimizing damage to property and losses of life from hurricanes and storms.
- Mangroves have been useful in treating effluent, as the plants absorb excess nitrates and phosphates, thereby preventing contamination of near-shore waters.
- Mangroves absorb carbon dioxide and store carbon in their sediments, thereby lessening the impacts of global warming; and help in the protection of associated marine ecosystems
- Sea grass beds and coral reefs depend on healthy mangroves to filter sediments and provide nursery grounds for resident species.
Mangrove Forests are largely facing deforestation. However, mangrove forests are treated as “wastelands,” or useless swamps. This mistaken view has made it easier to exploit mangrove forests as cheap and unprotected sources of land and water. Mangrove Forests were largely destroyed in the name of unsustainable developments like:
- Shrimp aquaculture
- Charcoal production and logging
- Oil exploration and extraction
- Urbanization and urban expansion
- Ports and roads
Continuing heavy loss of mangrove forests represents a real tragedy for our oceans and the extensive life-support systems mangroves engender. With climate change and sea level rising upon us, we must look to the mangroves to help turn the tides which these forests can do through their ability to control erosion by buffer against storms, and sequester huge amounts of carbon. Mangroves may in fact be one of our last defenses against the perils of climate change and global warming.
If the authorities stick on to the decision of the closure of the park, this may well contribute to the survival of our environment and in turn the species live inside it.
Kannur, the north Malabar district of Kerala is known as the land of looms and lores. For most Keralites, Kannur is famous for violence and bombs than a serene-beautiful place which offers lots of potentials to the tourism of Kerala.
Kannur in Kerala, is always famous with media for various happenings taking place. Its a place of strategic military importance and famous for its pristine beaches, Theyyam (the native performing art) and the handloom industry. Kannur has many tourist destinations like Moppila Bay, Payyambalam Beach Resort, St. Angelos Fort, Thalassery Fort, Gundert Bungalow, Ezhimala Naval Acadamy, Pythal Mala, Pazhassi Dam, Parassinikkadavu Snake Park and many others. The district is also blessed with hill stations, rivers, backwaters, historical monuments and religious centres.
Lately, Kannur has drawn attention of many tourists worldwide with the plans of setting up an International Airport here. The proposed Airport at Kannur is to have international standards of safety and comfort. If this will happen, Kannur can bring in many more developments and can draw more tourists which will in turn benefit the tourism industry of the State.
Another factor that will create more inflow of tourists to the state and district is “Ayurveda“. The Kerala unit of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the health department has entered into a partnership to set up an Ayurvedic Village in Kannur. The CII is planning to cultivate precious herbs and medicinal plants in the village with the help locals here.
Ayurveda and its treatments have gained great popularity among foreign tourists and, Kerala as a state with Ayurveda has lots of scope in this. Soon, the other districts of Kerala with tourist potentials can also expect a speedy development, as there is a master plan for cities in the state has been planned.
Answering a question about my hometown
“Where are you from?” – This is one of the many questions I have faced repeatedly in my life and have answered. If I feel that the querier is not a person whom I should answer sincerely, then I will say “Kannur“, even though I am from Kasargod (because anyone will more likely know Kannur than Kasargod). You might be thinking what if it is a person who have read and heard of Kannur from news, the first thing comes to mind are Bombs and violence than a serene- beautiful place shoring with Arabian Sea, and many small rivers and breathtaking greeneries.
If you say that you are from Kannur, a person from Ernakulam might ask you – “Kayyil Bombundo?” (Do you have bomb). So, if the person asks me such a question (I am at risk), then for sure I have to tell him or her that I am not proceeding to explain, actually..I am from Kasargod. Alas pat comes the reply. “Oh, the other end of Kerala, soooo far! “ Oh God! What answer will satisfy the person, I wonder. Now, I will reply – “not the end but exactly near the borders of two districts.” Finally!
But, it’s a bare truth that I have to travel to my hometown soooo far away (approximately 10 hours), that it seems the same to me. Travelling Back and forth is a day’s (24 hrs) venture. Since I feel that travelling in train takes more hours, and makes me take 2 more buses to finally reach home, I prefer a bus journey (one straight bus) unless it is an off-season for festivals.
Like any home loving person, I too love my hometown where I can breathe in the fresh air fearing no pollution, drink fresh water from the well and, sleep peacefully without AC or mosquito nets.
Almost a half of the Kasargod District is green and the other half is at its driest during summer which turns into a beautiful place with green grass carpets and violet flowers (Kakkapoovu) popping up, once it is the turn of the monsoon season. The district attracts many visitors from around the world to the famous Bekal Fort built by Tippu Sultan. Various parts of the districts especially Bekal Fort and around are famous through various films in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam (Bombay, Vadakkunnathan, Madhuranombarakkattu and many others to list). So, I can be proud of my native district.
I hope, I have managed to convey a small introduction to the Kasargod district at the other end of Kerala.
Interestingly , the new leaflets and brochures of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, “Discover Kerala” is in a way an invitation for the native community to explore the unseen and the unexplored Kerala and are not targeted for national or international travelers.
Discover Kerala has a series of budget packages that includes some of the best sights of Kerala.
The word, Utharayanam literally means the Northward journey of sun, and aptly, this budget tour package includes two circuits of 7 nights/8 day trip of North Kerala. The tour starts from Kannur and ends at Kochi, through some of the most popular tourist attractions and must see destinations like Parassinikkadavu, Tholpetty, Silent Valley and Malayatoor. The other circuit from Kochi to Kannur moves through Athirappally , Cheruthuruthy, Edakkal Caves , Payyambalam and Kappil.
This package has two circuits that covers the Southern parts of Kerala spanning 6 nights/ 7 nights . The first one starts from the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram and ends in Kochi, covering places like Kanyakumari, Kovalam, Konni, Ramakkalmedu and Thattekad. The other circuit moves in the opposite direction covers places like Eravikulam, Thekkady, Ashtamudi and Padmanabhapuram Palace
For those who wish to see the best of Kerala, should pick up this package that spans 11 nights/12 days, which comes at an unbeatable price of just Rs.13750 for two people including room rent, breakfast and taxes. Covering the whole of Kerala right from Kanyakumari to Kappil, these packages are customised and the travelers can join the tour from any spot they wish or use personal or hired vehicles for travel. Guided tours and assistance at arrival and departure points make these packages really value added. KTDC has an added advantage of having some of the best accommodation options and economy hotels under its fold all over the State.
‘Discover Kerala’ will add further impetus to domestic tourism and will create better awareness on the tourism potential of the State among the local community. Enjoy a cheap yet fulfilling holiday right at the backyard and explore the unexplored facade of God’ own country.
Calicut: As the Euro 2008 fever is gripping the world, its heat is also being in the distant shores of Kerala, where football is a way of life for many. The die hard aficionados’ throng in flocks to catch up the action of their favorite teams at the big screens kept at public places. The coastal areas of Kozhikode are already in the grip of this frenzied game.
People of all age assemble at places where huge projectors and television sets are mounted for the people to watch their favorite team in action. The Malabar belt of Kerala especially Kozhikode, Tellicherry and Kannur follow the game closely and football is more than just a game in this part of the state where it is a timeless passion and much more! The tradition of football started a long time ago in these areas and even today it is the most popular game in the State, retaining its past glory and fame.
The multitude of sports clubs is cited to be one of the main reasons for the popularity of this game. It is interesting to note that most of the football fans are traditional fishermen who nurture a staunch passion for this charming sport. Nynanvalap Football Fans Association is a club of this genre, which is actively involved in the promotion of beach soccer matches since 1996 and has received various sports goods from the official sponsors of Europe Cup 2008.
Many clubs make sure to conduct annual coaching camps to spot fresh talents and to mould them into master strikers. Part of the expenses is met by organizing the much popular ‘Sevens’ football tournaments, which see many local teams of repute in action. Business organizations in the city and Non-resident Keralites hailing from this region also patronize these football clubs, ensuring their sustenance and success.
Kerala is a place where people breathe and live football and it is far from just being a ball game played by two teams in contrast colored jerseys!
Kannur: Central Government might consider approving an integrated textile park in Kannur district if sufficient land is made available. Union Minister of Textiles Shankersinh Vaghela who was in Kannur to inaugurate the ninth centre of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) near here, said. The minister was speaking at the development seminar, Kannur Vision 2020, organized by the district committee of the Congress party here.
About 100 acres might be required for the project and the minister said that if the textile industry can forward a proposal through the ministry’s consultant for textile parks, Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, it would be given top most priority.
Kannur district is a major handloom textile centre in Kerala and with the opening of NIFT, a major spurt in the export of handloom textile products is expected. Though the classes will begin here in June, the permanent set up will be ready on in 3 years time in a 12 acre plot near the Kannur University campus.
The Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation is the nodal agency for setting up the NIFT centre at Kannur.