Visiting Places

 

Neyveli, Tamil Nadu, India
 

arch.jpgNeyveli is a mining and power generation township in Cuddalore district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located at 11.30° N - 79.29° E. It is 52 kilometres (32 mi) inland from Bay of Bengal, west of Pondicherry and 197 kilometres (122 mi) south of Chennai, located 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) west of Vadalur. The Neyveli Township was developed after mining of lignite started under the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) in 1956 some 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the original Neyveli village. Today the township covers 53 square kilometres provide around 18,000 houses for the employees.

The Neyveli Lignite Corporation is a public sector enterprise operating out of Neyveli. A large percentage of the thermal power generated in Tamil Nadu comes from the power plants in Neyveli, more than 2,500 MegaWatts. The town of Neyveli is well known to locals for its goat herding history. Goats from all over the Cuddalore district are brought to Neyveli by goatherders.  

History

Borewells driven in the now famous peasant Mr Jambulinga Mudhaliyar's land in 1935 revealed the presence of 'black particles'. The analysis of the 'black particles' led to the discovery of a huge lignite reserve beneath the areas in and around Neyveli. The Neyveli Lignite Corporation was formed as a Corporate Body in 1956 under the Government of India. It is still a Central Government Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). Mining of first lignite seam started in 1962. The first thermal power station was commissioned in 1962 with a capacity of 600 MW. The current capacity of the thermal power stations in Neyveli exceeds 2500 MW.

Geography

Neyveli is located at 11.30°N 79.30°E.[1] It has an average elevation of 87 metres (285 ft). It is well connected by road along the Chennai-Thanjavur NH 45C National Highway and Cuddalore-Salem SH 10 State Highway. A dedicated rail track with a Railway station was constructed to transport Lignite, heavy machineries for the mining and the power generation industries.

Climate

Contrasting to the adjacent arid regions of Cuddalore district, the township of Neyveli boasts a low-moderate tropical climate, mainly due to the rich flora planted as part of the landscaping during the development of the township. Summers are cooler (temperatures still reach above 40degrees Celsius) and winters are colder than the nearby regions, even though the township is at the same altitude with them. It has red soil, which is quite fertile.

Layout

The Township of Neyveli is one of the modern, well-planned townships in India, and can be compared to the likes of Chandigarh, New York. The township was in fact planned just like the city of ChandigarhNew York City with the township being sub-divided into 'blocks'. There are 32 blocks in total. Each block is 1000 m by 700 m in size. The main roads of Neyveli dividing each of the blocks are double-laned modern roads, constructed with rubberised top layer. The housing quarters are around 15,000 in number and vary between hostel-type buildings with 6 apartments to individual two-floor single cottage type quarters. The houses were originally constructed using concrete, while newer buildings are constructed using 'hollow blocks' cast from flyash which is a by-product of lignite. The technique is being used as an initiative to re-use the by-products of lignite effectively.

Neyveli can be termed as one of the modern industrial townships of India, with round-the-clock, water and electricity facilities. It also uses well-maintained, underground sanitation system, unlike some of the other cities in Tamil Nadu. At the dawn of the new millennium, the overhead communication cables were replaced by the underground cable communication system, with state-of-the-art optical cables. Neyveli has its own telecom system, complete with company-owned telephone exchanges, for faster communication between employees of the township.

Neyveli also have 3,000 temporary Housing quarters in names of M.K ColonyG.K Colony & J.E Quarters at Neyveli-2. It is 7 km south of Township & NLC Employees working in Mine-2stay here as it is just 1.5 km away. These housing colonies are also administered by Township administration

Administration

The Township of Neyveli is well managed by the Department of Township Administration (TA), under the Neyveli Lignite Corporation. The TA department, comprises Water Services, Sanitary Service, Fuse-off Call Services (Power Management), Telecom and also Maintenance and Repairs. The administration also runs a chain of hospitals for its employees with the main General Hospital at Block-6 and several dispensaries at various other places.

The township area comes under the Neyveli legislative constituency from 2008, While the rest of Neyveli area (Mandharakuppam, Old Neyveli, Gangaikondan, Periyakurichi etc.) comes under Bhuvanagiri constituency. While Township comes under Cuddalore Parliamentary constituency, Old Neyveli regions comes under Chidambaram constituency. Neyveli Township also has the dubious distinction of being the only town in Tamil Nadu that does not have any local self-government. But local body elections are held in Old Neyveli regions (Neyveli town panchayat). Tamil Nadu Police is the law-enforcement agency in Neyveli, supervised by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and includes a dedicated All-Women Special Police Station. Apart from the State Police services, the industrial units employ Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) for maximum security. The NLC also has its own security force, a fire & rescue department and home guards.

Economy

The employees of Neyveli are provided compensation at Central Government Wage levels and the economy of the Neyveli township is more thriving than the nearby regions. A small township of 50 square kilometres, Neyveli is nonetheless serviced by many commercial banks and more than 12 ATMs. The living expenses are less than the Metropolitan cities of India. Also the quality of life is far better than the other regions

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/56/Neyveli_4.jpg/250px-Neyveli_4.jpgIndustries

The basic industries on which Neyveli thrives are the lignite mines (I, II, IA) and thermal power stations (I,II & I-Extn.). The largest 'open-cast' mines in India, with very large machinery, the lignite mines is an engineering marvel. Since, the entire township has been built for the purpose of employees of the corporation, the other sources of economic activity are the support services to the township. This includes contracts with the NLC, shops, private hospitals in the periphery, schools etc. There are also a lot of mining industries that have been developed in the last two decades. A fertilizer, B&C plant that was owned by Neyveli Lignite Corporation was closed few years back.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Neyveli had a population of 128,133. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Neyveli has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 83%, and female literacy is 72%. In Neyveli, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age. Neyveli has a huge student population of 34,000. The demographics of Neyveli can often be classified as Cosmopolitan. Most of the people living in the township are not native to the place and not even native to Tamil Nadu either in most cases and can be called as expatriates from states other than Tamil Nadu. The people speak many languages including, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Oriya, Marathi, Gujarati and more, as most of the population is diversified and come for various parts of India. The rich diversity can be identified from the presence of services and cultural centres for the different communities.

Text Box: Cooling tower for the Neyveli Power plan 1Culture

Neyveli has a unique culture. The fact that all the people who live in Neyveli are not natives of the town, brings about a sense of diaspora. There are cultural organizations meant to encourage different regional cultures of India, there are temples and places of worship that quite reflect the diversity of the place.

People who live here are either employed by Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) or by the business enterprises that serve the NLC or the employees of NLC. Disparities in wealth is rather limited - one can consider it as a Public Sector Unit (PSU) salaried class culture. High literacy rates and multilingual nature of people reflect in a culture that lays high importance for education.

Religion

nt.jpgReflecting the cosmopolitan composition of the population, places of worship of all religions can be found. Temples of Lord Ayappa, Lord Nataraja, Lord Murugan, Lord Krishna and almost for all Hindu Gods. Churches (Catholic & Protestant), Mosques, Jain temples are all found here.

 

 

Nataraja Temple

Notably, Neyveli is famous for the world's largest metal statue of Shiva as Nataraja. Thaipoosam is a local festival with much flair at the Villudayanpattu temple of Lord Murugan holding a bow as his weapon instead of the regular spear. Thaipoosam is also special in Neyveli because of its proximity to Vadalur, the famous place of samathi of saint Vallalar Sri. Ramalinga Adigalar that is just 7 km away.hqdefault.jpg

The most important festival celebrated is "Panguni Uthiram" festival for the Lord Murugan at Villudayanpatti Temple.

Sri Ayyapan Swamy Temple at Block-4 is very famous for its beauty. Many Ayyapan Swamy Devotees come here to worship Lord Ayyapan before going to Sabarimala, Kerla. 600 year old Khasi Vishwanathar temple at Vadakku Vellur in Neyveli-2 is also popular among locals.

 

                    Vadalur

Tourism

The sight of the huge construction cranes digging dirt to unearth lignite is a sight worth watching. Moreover it is a good place for tourism, with tourist interests being the Afforestaion complexand mining sites. However permission to visit these places is selective.

gjpark.jpgNeyveli has a beautiful eco-friendly park which ranks in the international level, named as "Nehru Park" in Block 8. The "Main Bazaar" located in the heart of the township in Block 12 is the favorite hangout place for children and adult alike. All kinds of commodities are available in these shops for the welfare of Neyvelians. Sandwiched between the buzzing shops is "The Golden Jubilee Park" which was constructed in remembrance of 50 years after the beginning of NLC. It is a children's and adult's park. Many tourists come during their vacations.

The Natarajar Temple has the largest Panchaloha (made up of five metals/ alloys) idol and is the first in Asia. Many natural sceneries are there to visit and it will be worth spending some time here.

Text Box: Golden Jubilee Park Also the Book Fair is the yearly event conducted by the NLC from 1998, with around 200 publishers taking part in the event. Many other related events are conducted like felicitating writers, book discussions, debates, Dramas etc., during the 10 day course of the book fair which usually happens in the months of June to August. Neyveli Book Fair also consists of large number of interesting games, eatables which attracts children to a greater extent. The 16th Neyveli Book fair-2013 was held from 5th July 2013 to 14th July 2013, 10.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. on all days at Book Fair Grounds,Block-11.

Safety Week is a weeklong event conducted by various departments of the NLC, exhibiting the best practices of Safety to be followed in workplace and NLC also encourages its school students to actively participate in preparing the models for its "SAFETY WEEK CELEBRATIONS" by giving them prizes and certificates for the best display.

Here there is a Nata raja Temple is located near central bus stand, the Lord nataraja statue is 12 feet (3.7 m) in height weighing of more than 1.25 tonnes and also a Sivagamasundari statue is also in height of 7 feet (2.1 m) and weighs .5 tons kept in a big hall which is also a dynamandapam. Another beauty of this temple is 63 Nayanmars are lively looking in statues. A hall lies under a Nagalinga tree.

There is a Devara temple related to Lord Nataraja is Melakadambur is located at about 30 km from here. By road you should take sethiathope-kattumannarkoil- route. From Kattumannarkoil melakadambur is at about 6 km distance. Here Lord nataraja lies in a panchaloga vigraha as well as in hard granite stone dating back to Kulothunga Chola period. And a rare idol of Lord shiva dancing on a bull with ten hands is open for devotees darshan only on pradosha days from 4:30-6:00 pm.

Neyveli is notable for its "Republic Day" and "Independence Day" celebrations which is conducted in Bharathi Stadium. Many Schools actively participate in Dance Competitions, parade, and other sports. Even the students of Neyveli who achieved in State level, National and International level sports competitions are encouraged by NLC by giving prizes during these celebrations.

Neyveli provides benefit for its students as well as readers by providing an excellent "Library" in the midst of the township to gain enormous knowledge. Thousands of books dealing different topics, daily newspaper, magazines, all kinds of journals and reference books are available in the library which is governed by NLC.

NLC also issues its book called "BROWN COAL" to its employees to share its important events and also publishes some important information's. It also portrays about achievers of NLC who are in all walks of sports and education.

Transport

Transport inside the township is managed by the Bus Services, again a department under NLC. There are almost 15 bus routes for this small township. The bus services are excellent with a frequency of less than 10 minutes during the day and 15 minutes during the night. Owing to the high per capita income of people and easy loans from the NLC, the number of private vehicles per household is also high.

The township has two bus stations for outstation connectivity, each closer to two different highway routes running alongside the township, the Chennai-Thanjavur National Highway and the Cuddalore-Salem State Highway route. Most outstation goers towards Chennai, Bangalore, Tanjore, Vellore, Tirupathi, and Thiruvannamalai catch the buses at The Central Bus Stand (CBS) in Block-24, All mofussil buses stops at NLC arch gate in the National Highway NH45C (Vikravandi-Kumbakonam-Thanjavur). While regular bus services for Cuddalore, Salem, Tiruchirappalli, Virudhachalam, Madurai, Theni, Palani, Coimbatore, Chidambaram, Erode, Puducherry are available at the Bus Stand in Cuddalore-Salem State Highway SH10, Which is just few hundred meters away from Neyveli Railway station. There is also talk of toll gate to be set up near Neyveli at kadampuliyur when 4 lane NH45C comes into action. NH45C project may start from February 2013 once the bidding is completed.

Neyveli has a railway station which lies on the Cuddalore-Salem railway line. Daily 6 trains passes through the town i.e. the Cuddalore-Trichy passenger Bangalore-Nagore fast passengerNagore-Bangalore fast passenger and the Cuddalore-Virudhachalam passenger. The nearest major railway stations are at Cuddalore Port Junction (40 km) and Virudhachalam (21 km).

It has a wonderful airstrip but incidentally has no commercial flights. Currently it seems to be not under operation, but neyveli youngsters are using this as their favorite spot. The nearest airport is at Puducherry (90 km).