hotel-sea-view-kanyakumari-3Industrial growth of a district is conditioned by the availability of natural resources, infrastructural facilities, transport and technical know-how. The extent to which the above have helped building up industries in the district is discussed in this chapter.

Comprised of certain taluks of the erstwhile Travancore-Cochin otate, the present Kanniyakumari district was formed on 1 November 1956 as a result of the reorganisation 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, endowed with a lovely coast line, rich mineral resources like ilmenite, rutile, etc., a second line of economy is seen.

As is extended of an area with a sea coast, marine fishing has also its own contribution to make towards the district’s economy. Another popular and enterprising industry is the turning out of fibre from coconut husks. The rubber plantation which covers an extensive area at present, came up only during the beginning of this century. Handloom industry flourished especially at Vadesery, Kottar and Palliyady even though raw cotton is not locally available. Perhaps the conducive climate for handloom industry and the talent of a section of the people combined, contribute to the flourishing of the industry.

With all this, there had been no scientifically organised sector to promote these industries. A few individuals, therefore, enjoyed a monopoly over these industries (tiny industries) and industrial promotion was not their interest. The result, there were no large scale industries, to speak of, at that time.

The first large scale industry ever to come up was only in the year 1955 under the private sector and this was the position when this area was transferred to the then Madras State in 1956.

Taking note of the performance of the industries and the incentives which are considered necessary for their promotion, the Government stepped in and as a result, a few public sector enterprises came into the scene for implementing these policies of the Government. These arrangements of the Government also helped to ease out the middlemen and thereby loosen the stranglehold of the affluent people over these tiny industries.

Old Time Industries:

As explained earlier, the old time industries in the district are handloom weaving, wood carving, coconut shell carving, village smithy, stone carving, chank industry, oil extraction, etc. While these industries stood the test of time the once famous gold and silver brocaded fabrics of Kottar wilted and they have become almost extinct due to lack of encouragement.

The crisis faced by the handloom industry during the early 50’s led to the Government both the Centre as well as the State, to come forward, to ease the situation. The Government of India on their part established ‘The All India Handloom Board” and in addition created the handloom development cess fund which made all mill made cloth to attract cess. The State Government for their share established ‘The Tamil Nadu Handloom and Textiles Department” and “The Tamil Nadu Handloom Development Corporation”. The co-operatives also were involved in the handloom industry which helped in obtaining supply of yams and setting up of looms. They also engaged themselves in the purchase of the finished products and market them. Many co-optexe cetres and their sales emporia throughout Tamil Nadu stand testimony to the part, the co-operatives play in the field of handloom fabric production and marketing. Besides the above public sector undertaking, others such as SIDCO, TIIC, SIPCOT, etc., also contribute significantly towards industrialisation, and thereby a dramatic change in the industrial facade of the district has been brought about, especially during the seventies.

State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (SIPCOT) : SIPCOT, a public limited company wholly owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu is playing a prominent role in the promotion and development of medium and major industries in the district. Kanniyakumari district is an industrially developing district in Tamil Nadu.

SIPCOT extends term loan to new medium and large scale units whose project cost is below Rs.3 crores and existing medium and large scale units embanking on expansion/ diversification/ modernisation involving project cost not exceeding Rs.5 crores.

SIPCOT offers loan up to Rs.9 lakhs. New unit set up in Kanniyakumari district is eligible for concessional finance. So far two units in Kanniyakumari district are assisted by SIPCOT. The details are given below

Name of the unit & location(1) Products(2) SIPCOTs Project assistance cost (RUPEES IN LAKHS)(3) (4)
  1. Prabha Beverages
Vilavancode taluk Soft drinks 90.00 150.00
  1. Hotel Rajam, Nagercoil
Hotel 44.00 72.00


Medium and major units set up in Kanniyakumari district are eligible for IFST loan (Interest Free Sales Tax loan). Existing units undertaking substantial expansion/diversification are eligible to get IFST loan, equivalent to sales tax paid by them for a period of three years, up to the year in which application is made, subject to a maximum of 25 per cent of fixed assets created for the proposed unit or Rs.50 lakhs, whichever is less. New units are eligible for every year during the first six years of production, IFST loan equivalent to the sales tax paid by them during that year. Each year the loan will be subject to a maximum of 20 per cent lakhs (whichever) is less with an overall monetary ceiling of Rs.1 crore spread over to six year period.. The district is eligible for 10 per cent Central subsidy under ‘C’ category. Thovalai taluk of Kanniyakumari district is eligible for State subsidy equivalent to 15 per cent of the fixed capital investment of Rs. 18 lakhs, whichever is less.1

The Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation Limited (TIIC): TIIC, a public sector undertaking of the Government of Tamil Nadu plays a significant role in the industrial development of the district. It has been laying emphasis on assistance to developing small and medium scale industries which generate larger employment opportunities.

Activities of the TIIC in Kanniyakumari District are as followsIndustrial units benefited and amount sanctioned between 1975 and


Year(1) No.(2) Amount(3)


1975-76 5 34.65
1976-77 9 72.29
1977-78 3 7.15
1978-79 11 16.07
1979-80 20 8.26
1980—81 97 70.43
1981-82 123 82.32
1982-83 45 32.59
1983-84 95 84.64
1984—85 108 115.17
1985-86 115 83.75
1986—87 124 159.22

Assistant Manager (E & P) TIIC Madras, Report dated 17 November 1986.


Areas in Agastiswaram, Kalkulam, and Vilavancode and Thovalai taluks are eligible for 10 per cent Central investment subisdy. Thovalai taluk, besides, is eligible for 15 per cent State capital subsidy.

Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited (TIDCO) : TIDCO is also keen on establishing some medium and forge scale industries in the district.

Power: The Kodayar hydro electric project is the source of power supply. There are two power houses, viz., Kodayar power houses I and II here. The first power house became operational on 2 January 1971 with installed capacity of 60 MW. and the second in November 1971 with an installed capacity of 40 MW. The actual generation of electricity in these two power houses from the year of installation is as below

Name of the power houses (m mu) Year

(1) Kodayar1 (2) Kodayar(3)


1 1970-71 11
2 1971-72 85 36
3 1972-73 84 60
4 1973-74 149 77
5 1974-75 130 63
6 1975-76 175 79
7 1976-77 101 49
8 1977-78 117 59
9 1978-79 190 81
10 1979-80 251 98
11 1980-81 106 50
12 1981-82 165 76
13 1982-83 178 68
14 1983-84 148 69
15 1984-85 198 46
16 1985-86 170 70

Minerals and mineral based Industries: The beach sands at Manavalakuruchi as said earlier are rich in mineral deposits like ilmenite, monazite, etc. The other minerals available in the district are garnet, zircon and rutile, etc.

The then Travancore-Cochin Government set up a factory at Manavalakurichi where the sand was processed and the ilmenite and monazite were separated. Ilmenite finds a good market in the United Kingdom, Japan and other foreign countries while the monazite finds its use in the Indian Rare Earths Limited at Alwaye.

When the States were reorganised, the above concern was taken over by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1956. It has provided employment for about 200 persons, and the production was approximately 40 tonnes of ilmenite per day as in 1956.

During the same year subsequently the Government of India, under the Companies Act, established a Corporation registered under the name and style, the Travancore Mineral Concerns (Private) Limited, the idea being to bring about a merger of the various private sector units set up by the State owned Corporations of Tamil Nadu and Kerala which were engaged in this industry.

Subsequently in 1965 this Company was re-registered as the Indian Rare Earths Limited which afforded employment to 805 persons as in 1988. The annual production was approximately, as below

1. Ilmenite - 72,000 metric
2. Zircon - 5,000 u
3. Garnet - 5,000 ti
4. Monazite - 4,000 ii
5. Sillimanite - 300 ii
6. Rutile - 15,000
7. Zirconium exychloride 2 II
8. Zirconium Oxide m 10 II



The Indian Rare Earths limited, Manavalakurichi, is the only major Industry of Kanniyakumari district, which is industrially a developing district. It is essentially a mineral benefication industry. Its raw material is the mineral sands available in the district in abundance. In fact, the availability of the sand is the only reason for locating this industry here.

Kanniyakumari district is blessed with natural resources in the form of valuable minerals called atomic minerals. These minerals are ilmenite, monazite, zircon, rutile, carnet, sillimanite and leucoxene (also known as brown ilmenite).

These minerals, though found in small quantities in almost all over the district, are found in abundance in Manavalakurichi beach in a stretch spreading about 2 km. west of Valliar river mouth. Considerable seasonal deposits are also found along the beaches of Midalam. Vattakottai and Leepuram on the eastern side of the peninsula are the other places where these deposits are found to occur. Indian Rare Earths Limited, is collecting sands from all these places for the purpose of beneficiation.

Origin: These minerals are believed to be the ultimate disintegration production of the Western Ghats brought to the river by the torrential rain. These are again carried by the river into the sea. In the sea, because of the peculiar churning action and turbulance, these sands are thrown back into the shore by the waves. The occurrence of these minerals in the rocks of Western Ghats, in the river beds of Valliar which originates from the Western Ghats and flows into the Arabian sea and the presence of rich deposit along this river mouth, all addweight to this belief.

History: It was the Germans who discovered the presence of the minerals and first started the separation plant at this place. Till then the local people were not at all aware of the value of these assets present just under their feet.

It was a German Scientist by name Mr. Schomberg, who discovered the presence of monazite in the sands and got collected in a godown in Germany, where the coir imported from the Manavalakurichi area was stacked. The coir had carried some sands also, quite likely, as the coconut husks is being processed and converted into coir in the sands only, probably, the manufacturers and exporters themselves might haveadded this heavy sands into the coir deliberately, in order to increase the weight. Any way, the Germans traced back the source of the monazite sand and came to Manavalakurichi area, Monazite was a very valuable mineral at that time as it contains thorium, the raw material for the then flourishing industry namely, gas mantle manufacturing. They were astonished to find rich deposits of monazite all along the beach unexploited. They wasted no time, and started a factory in 1911 for concentrating monazite. When electricity was discovered, gas mantle industry declined so also the demand for monazite. However, by the time other valuable minerals like ilmenite, zircon, rutile, etc,, had been discovered in the beach sands of Manavalakurichi and these were also economically exploited.

During World War-I, the British captured the sand industry from the Germans and was controlling it till Independence. There were few private industries run mostly by British which were nationalised after Independence and the monazite export was also banned.

The State Government took over the industry following its nationalisation. It was in the year 1965; Indian Rare Earths Limited took over this industry. It was a boon to the sand industry of this region. The sound and able management of Indian Rare Earths Ltd. started modernisation of the plant and also introduced latest technology. The process continues even now. Dredge and wet concentration facilities have been introduced since August 1986. It envisages establishing some more units and identifying more places near Manavalakurichi.


  1. The Nagammal Textile Mill, Nagercoil, is a large scale industry under the private sector. This is the first of its kind to come up in Kanniyakumari district, which was commissioned in the year 1955. The capacity of the mill is 12,600 spindles and the turnover in terms of production is about 5000 bales of yarn. About 450 persons are employed in this mill.

The Kanniyakumari District Cooperative Spinning Mills Limited, Aralvoimozhl: This is one among the seventeen cooperative spinning mills in Tamil Nadu. It is located at Aralvoimozhi which is at a distance ofkm. from Nagercoil. Set up in 1963, it went into commercial production


On 9 December 1985. To start with, there were 12,000 spindles which gradually rose to 24,960 spindlesin 1079, as on 31 July 1986, 909 persons were employed.

There were 951 members in 1980 whose paid up share capital was Rs.72.55 lakhs of which the total authorised share capital was Rs.100 lakhs. The raw material needed i.e, cotton is purchased from the Cotton Corporation of India, the Cotton Growers Federation of Maharashtra, Punjab, and Gujarat and from the Tamil Nadu Co- operative Marketing Federation.

The year-wise particulars of production for the past six years are as below

Year 40s converted production Value in lakhs
1980 11,88,019 363.82
1981 16,50,099 467.66
1982 17,69,775 553.37
1983 14,72,307 484.04
1984 20,71,523 636.86
1985 19,66,892 649.46


In 1985, this spinning stood first among the Cooperative sector mills in Tamil Nadu in machinery utilisation and spindle point production.

Marketing:       The Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers Cooperative

Society is the major consumer of the yarn produced in this mill. About 75 per cent of the production is distributed to Weavers Cooperative Societies through its depots. About 20 per cent of the production of the mill is in ‘cone form’ and is sold to power loom units in Bombay through a common yarn sales depot at Bombay on consignment basis and especially the 60s carded cone yarn variety has earned a reputation in the Bombay market and hence a great demand for it. The turnover from 1980 to 1985 is as below


SI.No. Year sales in lakhs working result (Rs. InTakhs^
(Rs.) GrossProfit Profit for the year NetProfit
1 1980 345.40 (+) 58.45 (+) 54.05 (+) 17.67
2 1981 476.34 (+) 18.75 (-) 13.15 (•) 13.15
3 1982 576.44 (+) 58.78 (+) 26.40 (+) 13.25
4 1983 471.12 (+) 21.38 (-) 7.44 (-) 7.44
5 1984 688.21 (+) 24.35 (-) 5.57 (-) 13.01
6 1985 646.67 (+) 51.26 (-) 20.48 (+) 7.47 (tentative)


The power requirement of the mill is 1250 KVA. A 1000 KVA transformer has been installed and an additional load of 250 KVA has been sanctioned. Installation of an additional 500 KVA transformer is under the active consideration of the management. As at present, there are four generators of 1142 KVA capacity to tide over, in case of power short supply or failure.

Soft Drinks Plants: The Prabha Beverages Private Limited. To quench the thirst and to cater to the growing needs of Kanniyakumari and the neighbouring areas of Kerala, the Parle Private Limited, Bombay, authorised Prabha Beverages Private Limited for setting up a soft drinks plant at Marthandam, which is about 30 km. from Nagercoil on the Nagercoil-Trivandrum National Highway.

The plant was set up in 1987 by the Prabha Beverages (P) Ltd. at a cost of Rs. 1.12 crores. It produces soft drinks such as Gold Spot, Limca, Thums up and Bisleri Club Soda and its turnover is 4 lakh bottles a day. Raw materials such as essences, carbon dioxide and citric acid are collected from Ahmedabad, Cochin and Bombay respectively besides sugar and other materials which are available locally. The plant provides employment for 69 persons, as in April 1988.

Small Scale Industries: There are also small scale industries such as safety matches, cashew processing, wooden article manufacture, tiles, sale splints and vensers, lime, cement works, leather goods, plastic articles which contribute direct to the consumer interest.

The following table will enable to have an idea about the growth of small industries:-

Year(V No. of SSI unitsfunctioning


Invest- ment(Rs. IN LAKHS)





Employ­ment (IN NOS.)(5) percen­tage of growth(6)
1975-76 258 115.30 1.83 3160 BaseYear
1976-77 360 147.75 2.93 8200 12 %
1977-78 456 180.55 4.13 21273 27%
1978-79 522 241.06 6.98 24302 26%
1979-80 539 231.28 9.73 24472 2.40%
1980-81 664 436.95 13.43 29155 19%
(1) (2) (3)[1] (4)* (5)* (6)
1981-82 755 472.00 14.23 32180
1982-83 824 495.00 15.87 36600
1983-84 900 526.00 17.10 38300
1984-85 1149 611.00 18.95 41600
1985-86 1480 683.62 20.98 48740
1986-87 1683 817.69 24.14 51390
1987-88 1903 907.02 27.03 57600


Number of Small Scale Industrial Units (Permanent) in the district as on 31 March 1988

  1. Details of Classification No.of SSI Units

No.      (PERMANENT)

(1)        (2)        (3)

1 Food and Food Products 255
2 Beverages and Tobacco Products 8
3 Cotton Textile Products 44
4 Textile Products 135
5 Wood and Wooden Products 237
6 Paper and Paper Products 148
7 Leather and allied Products 35
8 Rubber, Plastic, Coal and Petroleum Products 92
9 Chemical and Chemical Products 240
10 Non-Metallic Mineral Products 174
11 Basic Metal and Alloy 8
12 Metal Products and Parts 215
13 Electrical Machinery and Apparatus Servicing 50
14 Transport Equipment and Parts Servicing 170
15 Fibre Products 42
16 Other Manufacturing Industries 50
Total 1903


Industrial Estate, Nagercoil: It is located at Konam which is at a distance of 2 km. from Nagercoil. It was set up in 1963 in an extent of 20.85 acres where 27 development plots are made available, 27 units have come up.

Also there are eight regular sheds to cater to the needs under the ‘Tiny Sector Programme”, which are fully occupied. The Industries here are mainly engaged in the manufacture of steel furniture, pipes, drums, electrical goods, rubber products, I.V. fluid, etc.


Key Raw Materials Distribution Scheme: Under this scheme, raw materials such as iron and steel, coke, paraffin wax, fatty acids, potassium chlorate, etc. are being distributed to small scale industrial units. The details of

the raw materials supplied in Kanniyakumari district are as under:
No. of No. of units
SI. Name of raw materials regd. availed in
No. units SIDCO’s
  • j| •’ (2)
(3) (4)
1 Iron and steel (Ms Plates, HR Sheets,
CR Sheets, angles, channels,
GP and GC sheets, etc.) 20 10
2 Match wax 4 2
3 Paraffin wax/std/type-ll 32 32
4 Potassium chlorate 29 29


Development Services: Small scale industries, which are located in industrially backward areas, are eligible for Central investment capital subsidy, the particularsofwhichareasfollows:


SI.No. Name of taluk

(V (2)

category percentage ofsubisdy eligible(3) W CIS/ SCS(5)
1 Kalkulam
2 Agasthiswaram and ‘C’ 10 per cent CIS
3 Vilavancode
4 Thovalai ‘B’ 10 per cent or CIS or
15 per cent SCS
The details of subsidy sanctioned and disbursed under 10 per cent
CIS are as below
sanctioned disbursed
No. Amount (Rs. in No. Amount
lakhs) Rs. in lakhs)
d) (2) (3) (4) (5)
1983-84 2 0.38
1984-85 4 0.86 2 0.38
1985-86 11 1.93 9 2.03
1986-87 12 3.04 8 2.22
As in October 1987 2 0.37
Total 31 6.58 19 4.63


Marketing Assistance Scheme: Under this scheme, SIDCO provides marketing assistance to the small scale industries, by participating in the tender/enquiries, floated by the various Government Departments/Corporations/Local Bodies, etc. The particulars of which are as follows:-

No. of Units registered under MarketingAssistance Scheme in Kanniyakumari district       32

No. of units assisted   8


Cooperative Industrial Estate: The Tamil Nadu Government has sanctioned a sum of Rs. BO lakhs towards the commissioning of a Cooperative Industrial Estate at Vattakottai near Kanniyakumari.

District Industries Centre: The District Industries Centre which is the district unit of the Department of Industries identifies their entrepreneurs and renders assistance for setting up small industries.

District Industries Centre at Konam near Nagercoil was created on 1 August 1978, which helps small entrepreneurs in obtaining licences, loans from the nationalised banks, finanical institutions like SIDCO and TIIC and also in procuring raw materials. The particulars of facilities made available to the various industries from 1 August 1978 to 29 December 1982 are as follows:

Description(V No. of app­lications(2) Amountsanctioned



As on Cases(4) 31.12.86Employ­



1 Handloom 33 81,050
2 Cottage and Village
Industries 67 2,74,900 244 500
3 Handicrafts 136 1,84,500 3134 4448
4 Self Employment 6 10,800 877 103.27
5 SSI Units 174 1,22,18,025 1690 29304
6 Coir Units 102 9,86,500 310 3000
Total 1,37,55,775


The District Industries Centre is also in the picture which implements the centrally sponsored self employment programme for the Educated Unemployed Youths.

Cashewnut industry: Cashewnut processing is predominantly an export oriented seasonal industry. The industry came into prominence only during the fifties and the number of cashewnut factories has since then been on the increase. The National Nut Company at Palugal, the Vijayalakshmi Cashewnut Industries and the Raju Vilas Roasting Plant both located at Palavilai are the main units in the district, while the rest are only small units, Put together, thereare196cashewunits.

Women are mainly employed in shelling the roasted nuts and peeling the machine dried kernels.

Handicrafts: Indian     handicrafts known for its proud tradition are appreciated for their aesthetic and as well as their utilitarian values as a result they prove to be the most valued export commodities^ in our country and as well as abroad. The main crafts in the district are wood carving, stone carving, metal works, lace and embroidery, temple jewellery, kora grass mat, laminated wood, musical instruments and fibre craft.

Fibre craft: It is one of the popular handicrafts of the district. Availability of raw material (i.e.) banana sheath in plenty and deft hands to turn out lovely articles go hand in hand to create a ready market everywhere in the State especially at the tourist centre of Kanniyakumari. Because of its corisiderable potential to generate employment among women, the Centre and the State Governments have come up with schemes to popularise this craft, which are wide, ranging such as bags, tea coasters, table mats, door mats, fancy dolls, flower pots and flower pot hangers. Even the fibre dusts do not go a waste but they are dyed and used for painting.

Next to Kerala, Kanniyakumari district accounts for the largest manufacture of fibre articles in the country. Puviyur. Nagercoil, Tiruvarambu, Chungankadai, Manalikarai. Aramboly, Kollel. Pacodu. Idaikodu. Arumanai and Kattathurai are some of the important centres.

The Fine Fibre Workers Cooperative Cottage Industrial Society which has membership of 300 women has been set up with the assistance of the Tamil Nadu Khadi and Village Industries Board. The members are imparted intensive training for three months in fibre craft.

Wood Carving: This is very popular in the district which is evident from the fact that even today one can see the workmanship in the temple doors and the furniture in the Padmanabhapuram palace and the like. However, lack of encouragement and the increase in the cost of manufacture have led to the wane of this traditional craft and hence the industry is ebbing now.

The Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited in order to encourage and promote the industries, have set up a Poompuhar Temple Car Training Centre at Nagercoil to impart training in wood crafts such as in wood carvings, building temple cars and carved wooden doors. To market the finished products, a showroom with Sales centre in Kanniykumari has been set up by the Poompuhar. This product commands good demand at Kanniyakumari.

Stone Carving: This is a traditional craft which flourished under the Pandyian kings known for their lavishness in constructing temples with rich intricately designed carvings on the stones used as pillars, ceilings, etc. In the temple at Suchindrum which excels in such exquisite carvings is a standing monument of beauty at which, one marvel, when he visits this temple. This traditional art has found its way into the 20th century also; for example the Vivekananda Rock Memorial was constructed meticulously with blue and red granite. The red granite used for the shikharams of the mandapam is very unique and imposing which has won the appreciation of one and all the world over. These two constructions thus reveal the traditional standards and the perfection in architecture or to say it is a harmonious blend of traditional art and architecture and thus the splendour which evokes interest to any visitor to these places. These arts still have roots in Mylaudy, Thirupathisaram and Aralvoimozhi.

Bell Metal Industry: It is popular especially in the manufacture of brass vessels, lamps (kuthuvilakku) and temple bells. The brass vessels are largely ornamental with the images of Gods, flowers and sacred animals etched or carved on them. Kottar in Nagercoil has also long been associated with the manufacture of domestic vessels made of vellode or bell metal.

The decline in market for this finished products has caused a set back to this industry. So, Poompuhar takes care of marketing these articles and as a result the industry now heaves a sigh of relief.

Lace and embroidery work: This craft was popularised to the present stage by the missionaries from the.west for whom the place was one of their intensive campaign centres. The worksmenship of the needle craft practised in the district is superb. The craft is now so important especially for its prospects in employing the largest number of rural womenfolk. The artisans have their own designs, colours and patterns.Lace and embroidery manufacturing centres are found concentrated in Nagercoil, Marthandam, Neyyoor, Mulagamood, Kanjiracode, Irenipuram and Killiyoor. The C.S.I. Lace and Embroidery unit, Nagercoil is the pioneer institution, which manufactures and exports lace and embroidery products done by village women.

Temple Jewellery: This is similar to costume jewellery excepting that real gold leaf beaten to extreme thinness is used for covering the surface of the ornament. So, the ornaments made in this style are costlier. The ornaments made in the temple jewellery style are made to specifications to suit the temple deities.

Costume jewellery: These are also similar to the temple jewellery except that the metal used is neither gold nor silver and hence cheap. These are used by the stage artistes.

The craft is practised by a section of goldsmith belonging to the Viswakarma community at Nagercoil and Vadaseri.

Kora Grass Mat: This is one of the most popular crafts of this district. This is a cottage industry which employs a large number of womenfolk and children. The korai grass is not available locally but procured from Karur in Tiruchirappalli district and Vellore in North Arcot district. However, the korai grass available in Vellore is not equal in quality as that of in Karur. The popular korai grass varieties used here are koolamattam and marmattam. Mat weaving centres are at Thuckalay, MadhavaJayam, Soorangudi, Thittumilai, Ethampoly, Irnepuram, Killiyoor, Athicode, Thiruvancode, Kanniyakumari and Kottar.

Reed and Bamboo Article: The area situated right below the Western Ghats has a reserve of lush forest where reed and bamboo are found grown in abundance side by side with rubber, cardamom and other growings on the hill. Like mat weaving, JhisJ^pufely a home craft where all the members of the household are involved. This craft is practised by tribal people mostly inhabiting in places below the mountain slopes. Though a wide range of articles are being made in this district, the most popular variety is the conical baskets which is commercially used for packing fruits, flowers, betel leaves, etc. for transportation to other places. Modern units located at Kanniyakumari are now manufacturing dinner mats and wall hangings, etc. Reeds are used for weaving mats. Impressive paintings are produced in the mats.

Palm Leaf and Screwplne articles: This is also one of the (In this district Mostly, adivasis and backward communrtm Irving along the slopes of western ghats have taken up to this avocation suchbaskets and mat weaving out of palm leaf and screwpine vrfiteh we used In packing betel leaves, fruits, flowers, etc, for transportation, fhej»e baskets are in big demand locally. Fancy bags are manufactured. These industries are amply found in Edaicode, Thlruvlthancode, Palugal, Azhagiamandapam Mettukadai and Thuctaiay,

Sea Shell Craft: Varieties of beautiful and exquisite fancy tinned out by the deft hands of people, mainly women. The array of $M\ articles displayed especially at Kanniyakumari are a beauty and one have to see them to believe. There is a ready local market for the finched products within the district and they also find a market in Bombay, Bangalore, etc.

Laminated Wood Works: With a background of years of experience in turning out artistic items in pure wood the Handicrafts Marketing and Service Extension Centre at Nagercoil has successfully introduced making articles in laminated wood. The tools and techniques are provided to the manufacturing units here by the Central Handicrafts Development Centre, Bangalore through this centre. The most popular items produced are laminated wooden bangles, beads; key chains candle stands, coasters, paper cutters, door curtain hangers, and other gift articles.

Wood Turned Products: Turned artistic products out of Teakwood, rotewood and poovarasu are the speciality of this district they have wider application in all costly wooden furniture especially in ornamental cots, tables, chairs and almirah. This now finds good demand in Bombay. The important places of manufacture are Nagercoil, Kulasekaram, Marthandam and Kottar,

Articles from Wax: In and around Nagercoil, replicas of vegetables, fruits, etc, are made from bee wax. However, this craft has not developed as it should be.

Musical Instruments:   This area is as famous for musicalinstruments as it is for temples, temple jewellery, tempfe figures in wood and a wide range of musical instruments, like nadeswaram, thavil, harmonium, mridangam, flute, etc. But the artistes, inaptitude and the shift to modern instruments compelled the discontinuance of this traditional craft save only a few families here and there, at Mettukadai and Marthandam, who still cling on to this avocation by force of circumstances.

Cut Glass work : This is not the glass work as one envisages but it is only the cut pieces of waste glass used in making articles such as niches, replicas of temples gopurams, churches, etc. This craft which is of recent origin is mainly found in Nagercoil.

Marksttng: The handicrafts manufactured in the district find a good market both in India and abroad as well through the Handicrafts Marketing and Service Extension Centre in Nagercoil set up by the Government of India, Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development in Madras and Kerala Handicrafts market meets organised by the Handicrafts Marketing and Service Extension Centre in Madras and Trivandrum have gone a long way in culminating the role of middlemen in the trade. The Match Service Society at Thuckalai is also marketing the safety matches produced by the primary match units.

Khadi and village Industries:  In Kanniyakumari district, theKhadi scheme was first implemented in September 1957 by establishing one Khadi Production Centre and one Khadi Kraft Sales depot at Nagercoil for marketing the khadi and village industries products of the district.With a view to promote and develop the khadi and village industries products in the State, the Tamilnadu Khadi and Village Industries Board was set up in April 1960. The Board generates employment opportunities in rural areas by utilising the raw materials available in the areas concerned which in turn help alleviate poverty.

Khadi: The Board distributes Ambar Charkas to the peopleengaged in spinning, at Rural Textile Centres which help the individuals engaged in this occupation. During 1987 there were 11 khadi production centres, four khadi krafts and 52 Rural Textile Centres in villages.

These eleven production centres are located at Nagercoil, Manavaiakunchi, Agasthiswaram, Monday Market, Villukuri, Marthandam,Thengampudur, Pottal, Chemparathivilai, Palapallam and Mylaudy. They supply cotton to the spinners and purchase the yarn produced by them. The Board has been successful In this endeavour in the district.The Rural Textile Centres provide regular employment to ruralfolk which are managed by trained Instructors, appointed by the Khadi and Village Industries Board. The requirements of the centres such as materials and accessories are met by the Board.

Village Industries: Village Industries are developed through the units of the Khadi and Village Industries Board as well as through the Industrial Cooperative Societies registered by the Board. In Kanniyakumari district, the Board had the following units during 1987.

Name of the Industry location
| Non-edible oil and soap 1 Agasthiswaram
2 Koitai
2 Bee-keeping sub-station 3 Manalikkarai
4 Vencode
5 Mel pur am
6 Thamanoor
7 Senamvilai
8 Vivillai
9 Kadayal
3 Bee nursery 10 Keel kulam

Besides these, there were 95 industrial units under the cooperative sector in the district as detailed below:-


Name of the Industry No. of Soc
1 Palmgur 78
2 Oil 3
3 Cane and bamboo 2
4 Bee-keeping 2
5 Lime 2
6 Carpentry and blacksmithy 1
8 Fibre 5
9 Handmade paper 1

There is a District Cooperative Palmgur Federation Society which regulates the production and sale of palm products. For marketing the Khadi and Village products, the Board is running Khadi Kraft and Sales depots at Thuckalay, Nagercoil, Marthandam, and Kanniyakumari. As in

the Khadi and Village Industries programme provided employment to 50,700 persons9.

Production and Sales of Khadi and viilags Industries Products in the district from 1980-81 to 1986-8710

Year(V Khadi Production fin metres)(2) Khadi Sales (3) Village Industries Product sales. (4)
bs. rts.
1980-81 460239 33,97.718 12,59,146
1981 -82 502237 36,56,179 15,24,750
1982-83 519557 40,49,598 13,93,477
1983-84 452030 47,16,603 10,71,264
1984-85 288754 53,80,239 9,29,902
1985-86 310055 60,26,151 9,53,628
1986-87 272987 44,09,335 17,12,200


Handloom Industry in the district is a traditional and labour intensive industry which is the largest in the unorganised sector. Here, in the district every weaver’s house is a mini handloom industry. So, besides agriculture, handloom plays a pivotal role in the district’s economy.

This industry is concentracted in places such as Kottar, Vadaseri, Elangadai, Eraniel, Palliyadi and Valvachagoshtam. Kottar which is a suburb of Nagercoil town, and Eraniel in Kalkulam taluk from very early times have been fapnous for their handloom textiles, particularly laced cloth and turkey towels. In olden days this industry was not only meeting the entire local requirements, but was also meeting the requirements of the other parts of India and even abroad. But it is a well known fact that the fortunes of the industry have been unstable here also as elsewhere, so it suffered in the later years for a variety of reasons and faced serious crisis on several occasions, resulting in the weavers being thrown out ofemployment and naturally producers of handloom cloth had to sustain heavy financial losses.

The Government, therefore, have come to the aid of the weavers by setting up the Tamil Nadu State Handloom weavers Co-operative Society at Nagercoil. The society supplied yarn to weavers’ societies and procured the finished goods and marketed them. A sales emporium has also been opened at Nagercoil to popularise handloom fabrics.

There are about 14,161 handloom units in 1988-89 in the district of which 11,411 looms are under the co-operative sector and the rest undef the private sector. There are 77 weavers’ cooperative societies during the year 1988-89 in the district11.

Sales units are at Nagercoil, Karungal, Vadasery, Monday Market and Thuckalay.

Number of Handloom Units from 1980-81 to 1988-89 in the district Year  No.of   handloom units

1 1980-81 11713
2 1981-82 12416
3 1982-83 12610
4 1983-84 13162
5 1984-85 13217
6 1985-86 10650
7 1986-87 11212
8 1987-88 11607
9 1988-89(up to 30 November 1988) 11411



Production and sale of handloom cloths from 1980-81 to 1988-89

Year0) Production Sales
Metre (IN LAKHS) 0 Value(Rs. IN LAKHS)




Value(Rs. IN LAKHS)


1980-81 69.89 227.35 62.22 256.83
1981-82 71.62 289.34 75.90 3*16.79
1982-83 83.00 380.01 76.62 366.56
1983-84 100.30 511.77 104.95 563.65
1984-85 97.03 511.38 111.56 554.60
1985-86 94.39 510.40 98.45 556.56
1986-87 97.12 619.22 103.12 698.46
1987-88 101.06 718.56 102.09 732.11
1988-89 74.55 490.64 80.95 593.00
(up to 30 November 1988)


Government schemes : The Tamil Nadu Government introduced schemes for the welfare of the weavers, such as Rebate Subsidy, Special Component plan, Cluster Development Scheme, Integrated Rural Development Programme and Weavers Housing Scheme. These schemes also provide for loans to various weavers co-operative societies.

The Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society popularly known as “Co-optex” was established in 1934 in the State with the object of organising and promoting handlooms in the Co-operative Sector on a comnlerical basis by supplying necessary raw materials and marketing their products.

The Directorate of Handlooms and Textiles which was set up in 1956 after bifurcation from the Co-operative department is responsible for planning andimplementation of programmes for promotion of handloom industry.The Directorate also functions as the State Textile Authority and a& such he has a responsibility to initiate measures wherever neccessary t0r successful functioning of textile and poweiioom industries apart from the handloom sector in the State.

The Tamil Nadu Handloom Finance and Trading Corporation (now renamed as Tamil Nadu Handloom Development Corporation) was established in 1964 with the object of providing financial assistance to persons engaged in handlooms, powerlooms and ancillary industry outside the Co-operative sector.

Colr-lnduttry: There is a great scope for the development of this industry in the district. Coir industry is carried on all aiong the coastal areas from Kanniyakumari to Kollancode. About 95 per cent of the coir produced in the district are sent to places outside the district There were 42 Co-operative Coir Societies in the district as on 1981. Training in the production of two ply yam is imparted to people in various places. In Kanniyakumari 500 people were trained under the Integrated Rural Development Programme. To further the scheme of training, the Government sanctioned the establishment of a Coir School at Ethamozhi which started functioning in 1962. The school offeres training to workers in the manufacture of. coir mats, mattings, brush mats, etc. using modern methods.

Spinning of coir yarn is mostly carried out with the aid of the spinning wheels. Ashtamudy, Angengo, Aratoray Vaikam and Common beach yarn are some of the varieties of coir manufactured in the district.

In 1986 the area under coconut plantation in the district was about 16,800 hectares. The average yield of coconuts per annum was estimated at 20.6 crores. The coir fibre are utilised by the 60 registered coir based industries employing about 900 persons. The speciality of Kanniyakumari district is that the coir available here is of the white variety.

There is also a large scale industry at Ammandivilai employing 150 persons which is engaged In the manufacture of coir products, through its powerlooms.

The total production capacity of the existing small scale coir units is 4106 tonnes per annum and that of the only large scale industry in Ammandivilai is 3750 tonnes per annum.12

Tea cultivation: The total area under tea cultivation in 1986 was 2700 acres in Kanniyakumari district.

Rubber Industry: Rubber plantation in India, found its way at the beginning of this century but the rubber Industry in India actually took its root only after 1930.

Tamil Nadu stands second in the production of natural rubber in the country and the credit goes to the Kanniyakumari district since the entire plantation in the State is in this district. The district is well endowed by soil and climate conditions best suited for rubber cultivation.

Up to the 50s rubber plantations were under private enterprise. In June, 1960, the Government initiated a scheme in the Keeriparai Reserve Forest area and brought about 2,000 acres under rubber plantation, whereas at that time about 16,000 acres of rubber plantation were under private enterprise. In 1980 in Kanniyakumari district alone 12,688 hectares were under rubber plantation as against 12,716 hectares in the whole of Tamil Nadu. In 1980-81, 4, 39,566 rubber trees were tapped employing 3000 persons; annual yield per tree was 5.35 kg. In 1986, the area under rubber plantation further rose to 13,168 hectares in all i.e., Government as well as private, employing about 50,000 persons.

Rubber plantations are widespread along the Western Ghats in Vilavancode, Kalkulam and Thovalai taluks and to be specific in Keeriparai, Paralaiyar, Manalodai, Chithar, Mylar and Kallar areas. Rubber available here is of a superior quality equivalent to Malasian product.

During 1988 there are 42 rubber based industries in the district and their production was about 1,500 tonnes of finished goods per year such as tread rubber, rubber surgical gloves, rubber bands and rubber elastic thread and finger tips besides rubber in the form of latex and rubber sheets which find market in other districts and States.

The TANSI has proposed to start a rubber based industry in the district.

The Government of Tamil Nadu has set up a separate Corporation for the development of rubber industry with headquarters at Nagercoil by name ‘Arasu Rubber Corporation Ltd’. The activities of Corporation in the district are as follows.


Rubber is an important plant product having varied industrial, technological and domestic uses and is undoubtedly one of the most profitable plantation cash crops in the country today. A rubber plant start yield in the 14th year but continues up to 30th year. The cost of raising one hectare of rubber plantation is about Rs. 17,000. In Tamil Nadu, Kanniyakumari district alone is suited for the growth of natural rubber. An extent of 4785.7 ha. has been planted with rubber in the Kanniyakumari district from 1960 onwards under various schemes up to 1980. The Government rubber plantations which were under the control of the TamiJ Nadu Forest department till 30 September 1984 have been converted into a Corporation and registered under the Companies Act 1956 on

August 1984 (No. 11066/84) and styled as Arasu Rubber Corportation Limited as per G.O. Ms. No.221, Forests & Fisheries dated

February 1983 and 197, Forests and Fisheries Department

February 1984. The Corporation has started functioning with effect from 1 October 1984.

There are three factories to process the field latex into different grades of natural rubber. These factories are located at Keeriparai, Perunchani and Mylar.

In G.O. Ms.No. 309, Forest & Fisheries dated 19.3.1985, a lease rent of Rs.4000/- per ha. per annum has been fixed as lease fee payable to the Forest department for mature rubber plantations and Rs.400/- per ha. per annum for immature areas yet to come for tapping.

PROTECTION IN A MODERN WAY: Damage to young rubber plants are caused by wild elephants and other wildlife. Hence electric fence has been provided over a distance of 30 km. in Maruthamparai, Chithar, Kallar and Kuthiar divisions at a cost of Rs.2.25 lakhs put an end to the wildlife damage as is done in the palm plantations of Malaysia, since other measures adopted previously to prevent wildlife damage provide futile. The electric fence has helped in preventing elephant damage to agreat extent. It is proposed to extend the electric fence over a distance ofkm. in Mylar division so as to keep off the elephants totally.

FUTJJRE DEVELOPMENT: A five Year Plan involving an outlay of Rs.1322 lakhs for improvement of the rubber plantations of the Arasu Rubber Corporation Limited, including replanting failed patches in the western wing has since been approved by the Corporation.

PRODUCTION: Details regarding the number of tasks under tapping from the year of inception of the corporation to the current year are given below:

Year Number of tasks
1984-85 2058
1985-86 2207
1986-87 2259
1987-88 2356
1988-89 2412


The production of rubber (both latex and scrap) during 1984-85 (1 October 1984 to 31 March 1985) was 1385 tonnes. A quantity of 2412 tonnes of rubber (both latex and scrap) was collected during 1985-86 in 2207 tapping tasks as against the target of 2300 tonnes-112 tonnes over and and above the target fixed. A target of 2400 tonnes of raw rubber has been fixed for 1986-87 and 2359 tonnes of rubber were collected. During 1987-88, 2678 tonnes of rubber were collected as against the target of 2550 tonnes.

Sale : During 1984-85, rubber was sold (6 months period) to the tune of Rs.292-37 lakhs and Rs.416.63 lakhs during 1985-86. During 1986-87 rubber was sold to the tune of Rs.401.38 lakhs and during 1987-88 rubber was sold to the tune of Rs.602.46.

Right from the beginning of the Corportation, rubber was sold in open auction/tender till the end of October 1986.

This system apart from resulting in accumulation of stocks does not take into account the fluctuation in prices and the merchants take their own time to remove the purchased rubber to their advantage. The participants in the auction sales are not the rubber consumers but traders supplying rubber to the industries hoping to gain a margin of profits. In order to avoid middlemen and also to obtain better prices without accumulation of stocks, rubber is now being sold by negotiation to the rubber consuming industries taking into account the Kottayam Rubber Market as basis, besides opdn auctionAender. Steps have also been taken for direct sales with bulk consuming industries on agreement basis.

Financial Position: According to the audited accounts of the corporation for the year 1984-85, the net profit was Rs.10.77 lakhs and Rs.2.55 lakhs for the year 1985-86. The net profit for the year 1986-87 is Rs.3.16 lakhs as per the unaudited accounts. It is estimated that the net profit of this corporation during the year (1987-88) will be around Rs.4.03 lakhs.

Wages and Labour Welfare Activities: The total strength of labour force of this corporation is 2562 consisting of tappers, field workers, protective workers, factory workers and casual workers.

Daily wages are paid to the labourers at rates varying from Rs.23.43 to Rs.24.56 accordinng to their grades. Tappers are paid over kilo wages for collection of latex and scrap at the rate of 65 paise per kg. and 30 p. per kg. respectively more than the standard output as given below:-

Standard output Class Latex (kg.)      Scrap   (kg.)

1,200   0.300

2,000   0.500

3,600   0.900

5,200   1.300

Pending finalisation of audit of the accounts by the statutory auditors, a sum of Rs.15.07 lakhs was disbursed to the labourers and staff towards bonus for the year 1984-85 and about Rs. 16 lakhs for the year 1985-86 and 1986-87 each at the statutory minimum of 8.33 per cent. After finalisation of audit of the accounts by the statutory auditors, bonus if any due will be paid to the workers according to the Payment of Bonu£ Act. Daily allowance is revised as per the consumer price index of Nagercoil.

One thousand and one hundred families of workers have been provided with houses in the plantation areas and 385 labour houses are under construction.

In Chithar and Kuthiar divisions, rubber has been planted for providing employment to Sri Lanka Repatriates. All the repatriate labourers are provided with living accommodation and houses within the plantations. So far, 285 repatriate families have been absorbed under this scheme.

All eligible workers are paid national and festival holidays wages, besides annual supply of bedsheets and umbrellas.

To provide free educational facilities to the children of workers of the Corportation, primary schools are functioning in almost all divisions of the corporation and in this academic year, the primary schools have been upgraded as midddle schools in Keeriparai, Chithar and Kuthiar divisions of the Corporation.

All the children studying in this Corporation’s schools are benefited under the Chief Minister’s Nutritious Meals scheme. Separate buildings have been constructed by the Corporation for implementing this programme.

A ten bedded Garden Hospital at Keeriparai and six bedded Garden Hospital at Chithar each under the charge of qualified Medical Officer and other auxiliary staff are functioning. In addition, there are seven dispensaries to which the Medical Officers pay weekly visit. The hospitals and the dispensaries provide medical care for the staff workers and their families.

Employees Provident Fund Scheme is implemented in this Corportation and deduction is made on the wages of the workers and remitted with Regional Provident Fund Commissioner with equal share of the management.

Two thousand five hundred and sixty two workers hailing from the nearby villages are employed under various categories viz. tappers, factory workers and field workers in this Corporation. Preference is given to Kanis (hill tribes) in the recruitment of workers as they form the most backward segment of the population in the Kanniyakumari district.

Communications: So far as Communication facilities are concerned, black topping has been done by the Corporation to a distance of 16.89 km. at a cost of Rs. 8.39 lakhs. This has enabled plying of transport buses to all the divisions of the Corporation for the benefit of the staff, labourers and their families.

There are few other beneficial schemes also. The required applications for these schemes are received and processed at Regional Office, Nagercoil. Every year nearly a sum of Rs.20 lakhs to 25 lakhs is spent for Kanniyakumari district, under the above schemes.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural development (NABARD) Bombay has schemes for providing long term loan to the rubber planters through scheduled banks with the technical collaboration of the Board. The loan is provided to meet the cost of replanting, maintenance of immature rubber, construction of smoke house, purchase of processing machine, construction of labour quarters etc.

For diagnoses of fertiliser requirements of rubber, by soil and leaf analysis, there is a Regional Laboratory also, which visits all impor ant rubber growing centres, and collects soil and leaf samples and gives suitable manurial recommendations to rubber growers after analysis.

Starch Industry: The Arokia Match and Starch factory at Puliyoorkurichi in Kalkulam taluk is one of the important units which is engaged in the production of starch from tapioca. The starch manufactured here finds a market locally and also throughout India. The factory provides employment for about 100 persons. The annual output of the unit is about 1200 tonnes. Arrow roots for the manufacture of arrow root powder are also available here.

Chank Industry: Chank is available along the sea coast fromKadipattanam to Nerodai. Prior to the merger of the areas, which are under the present Kanniyakumari district with Tamil Nadu, the ohank fishing right was enjoyed by the Maharajah of Travancore. However, with the transfer of this area to Tamil Nadu, the rights went to the Government and chank fishing was operated in the district departmentally till 14th April 1960. From 15th April 1960, the fishing was leased out to private parties. Subsequently, the Government revised the policy and declared the entire coastal area of Tamil Nadu except Tuticorin chank fishery as a free operational area for licensed chank divers from May 1971 onwards. Again, the Government revised the policy and brought the chank fishery of the entire State as a Government monopoly, from September 1977 onwards. Now-a-days, only netted chanks are collected in the district.

Sail Industry : Salt manufacture is an ok) time industry mainly concentrated In Kanniyakumari and Cdachel areas These salt factories ate known as ‘Atoms’ There art ten salt factories in the district out of which three are located in Variyur, Palkulam and Thattarippu Odai on the east coast and the remaining factories in Rajakkamangalam and Cotachei areas along the west coast.

OM Industry: Extraction of oil from copra is an important cottage Industry in the district the main centres being Kottar, Vadasery, Eraniel, PutthukaJai and Mytaudy. The other oils produced are from laurel, maruvettyam, illupa, gingelly, odai. pine, anjili, rubber seed, karlnjotta, margosa and lemon grass which also find a good market

Fish Net Industry: Fish net making by hand is an enterprising industry in the coastal areas of the District. There is a fish net industry at Varavllai near Muttom run by the Kottar Social Service League Quite a few religious organisations also run these centres m different parts of the district, which benefit the fishermen families. A mechanised Fish net (nylon) making unit at Manavalakurichi also caters to the needs of the fishermen.

Honey Processing: The YMCA Rural Reconstruction Centre at Marthandam Is engaged in bee keeping. The honey gathered here finds a market m the other places of the State. It is a seasonal industry which tounshes during April and May when rubber trees are in blossom. The annual production IS estimated as 37S mts. of honey from 50,000 beehives.

Bricks and Tiles Industry: It is also an important and popular industry One can see these units on either side of the road at Thovalai. Kandan Vlai Mulagumudu, PudukadaJ, and Nulli Villai areas. It is also found here and there m other parts of the district, The bricks and tiles manufactured here are of a high quality, Pa code near Marthandam is noted for brick industry

Wheel Processing j A roller flour mill in the private sector with cofjacfty to process 2$ tonnes/day has been established by localPalkulam Salt Factoryentrepreneurs at Chungankadai near Nagercoil. A biscuit factory has also been commissioned in small scale sector in Nagercoil.

Small Scale Industries: Small scale industrial units in the district are as follows:-


Name of the unit         Location


Wooden furniture, fixtures, bullock

carts, wheels, etc. making

Steel Almirah and Iron and Steel Products

Printing and Stationery

Candle Units

Cashewnut roasting units


Nagercoil, Marthandam, Nullivilai and Thithivilai

Nagercoil,        Colachel,

Marthandam, Karungal, Thickanamcode, Monday Market and Eathamozhy.

Nagercoil, Marthandam, Neyoor, Thuckalay and Karungal.

Nagercoil, Mullanganavilai, and Methukummal.

Melpuram,       Palavilai,

Alanchi,           Aranmanai,

Edaicode,        Kunnathoor,

Maruthencode and Palugal.

Nagercoil, Marthandam, Thiru- vithamcode.


Small scale units engaged in the manufacture of various other products are found scattered all over the district.

The various types of cottage industries in the district and products manufactured are detailed below:

Cottage Industries20

Types of Cottage Industries Products manufactured Percentage of totaT~ population of the dist. engaged in different cottage industries(percentage)
  1. Korai and Screwpine mat weaving
Korai mats and Screwpine 0.42
  1. Palm leaf
Palm leaf products 0.35
  1. Rattan and bamboo articles
Baskets and household utensils, furniture 0.09
  1. Nylon Fancy Bags
Bags and baskets 0.02
  1. Hand Printing
Printing on cloth 0.0004
  1. Screwpine articles
Mats 0.62
  1. Fish Net Knitting
Net making 1.18
  1. Cashew kernel processing
Processing of Kemals 0.72
  1. Carpentry works
Agriculture implements 0.45
  1. Blacksmithy works
-do- 0.36
  1. Brick and Tile works
Brick manufacturing 0.18
  1. Biscuit Bakery
Biscuits 0.1
  1. Beedi Cigar rolling
Manufacture of Beedies and 0.1 Cigars
14, Toys and Dolls making Toys and Dolls 0.1
  1. Candle and Agarbathi
Candle and Agarbathis 0.1 ,
  1. Lime burning
Production of lime 0.1


Industrial Co-operatives: The growth of small scale industries in Kanniyakumari district has been on the increase, which can be attributed to the part played by the Industrial Co-operatives and they figure prominently in the matter of production of industrial and consumer goods. Under the small scale industries, they cover many types of industriessuch as coir works, oil extraction, fibre works, metal casting, umbrella manufacture, industrial engineering, printing press, lime works and rubber manufacture.

Likewise they also contribute to the development of traditional handicrafts, such as stone images, wood carvings, palm leaf products, lace and embroidery, sea shell toys and bamboo articles etc.

The coir industrial co-operatives are gaining ground and they are expected to make a substantial contribution to the coir industry.

There were 18 industrial cooperatives in the district as on 31 March 1981 comprising eight Coir Workers Industrial Co-operatives, five Handicrafts Industrial Societies, one Safety Matches service society and four miscellaneous societies.

Tamil Nadu State Industrial Co-operative Bank Ltd: During the sixties, the Industrial Co-operative Societies had to face acute problems in securing adequate finance because they were not able to raise adequate money to meet their requirements either through their own resources or through bank credit.

With a view to mitigate their hardship, a separate Apex Bank viz., Tamil Nadu State Industrial Co-operative Bank Limited was established on the 13th of September 1961, by the Government of Tamil Nadu. The activities of the bank have been dealt with in detail in the ‘Banking’ Chapter.

The various industrial co-operatives in the district are as follows

Kanniyakumari district Central Coir Marketing Society.

Pandaravilai Coir workers Industrial Cooperative Society.

Mullanganvilai Coir workers Industrial Cooperative Society.

Kallingarajapuram Coir Workers Industrial Cooperative society.

Mannakudi Coir workers Industrial Cooperative society.

Nagercoil Metal Casting Industrial Cooperative Society.

Nagercoil Umbrella Manufacture Industrial Cooperative Society.

Milaudy stone workers Industrial Cooperative Society.

Painkulam Coir Workers Industrial Cooperative Society.

Kollankodu Coir Workers Industrial Cooperative Society.

Mukilankudiyiruppu Fibre products Industrial Cooperative society

The Engineers Industrial Cooperative Society.

The Ex-Servicemen Cooperative Engineering Works Ltd.

The Kanniyakumari Industrial Cooperative Society for Rubber Factory Um

Kanniyakumari Industrial Cooperative Society printing works.

The Kanniyakumari Wood Carving Industrial Cooperative Society.

The Nagercoil Women Lace and Embroidery Workers Cooperative Society

The Kanniyakumari Small Match Producers Service Industrial Cooperative Society.

Industrial Labour Organisations in Kanniyakumari district23

Mineral Workers Union, Manavalakurichi.

Manavalakurichi Minerals Staff Association.

Kumari District Mill Labourers Union, Nagercoil.

Nagammal Mills Staff and Jobbers Union, Nagercoil.

Kumari Nellai Jilla Panchalai Thozhilalar Sangam, Nagercoil.

Kanyaspin Thozhilalar Sangam, Aramboly.

Kanniyakumari Co-operative Spinning Mills Thozhilar Munnettra Sangam, Aramboly.

Kanyaspin Technician union, Aramboly.

Kanniyakumari district Staff progressive Union, Aramboly.

United Front Federation for Repatriates, Aramboly.

Assistance to small scale industries :24 Aimed to encourage the growth of small scale Industries in the State, the department of Industries and Commerce has drawn up a number of development schemes like providing technical know-how, training, registration of small scale industries, providing financial assistance to entrepreneurs through banks and financial institutions, ensure supply of scarce raw materials on priority basis at reasonable prices finally assuming responsibility for marketing the finished products.

The above concessions apply to both unit rates and maximum demand charges. This concession is not, however, applicable to the consumers, who generate their own power or have their own arrangements for production purposes and the power supplied by the Board is utilised for auxiliary purposes only. This concession is made available to the industries till such time they start earning profits or up to a maximum period of five years.

This tariff concessions are applicable only once for a new industrial undertaking. For any subsequent expansion or diversification of production the concession does not hold good.

Night shift concession for new industry New industries which are already there and which have not completed five years from the date of commencement of production and which are still eligible for the concession tariff and for future installations in all areas which have introduced and which are likely to introduce night shifts between 9.30 p.m. and 5.30 a.m. are eligible for a further concession of 40 per cent of the appropriate rate, for energy consumed during night shift only. This concession can be availed of for a period of seven months (i.e.) from July to January during every year limited to five years. This concession applies to energy rates arrived at after giving the concession referred to in sub-item for new industries. In the case of industries where there are day shifts as well, the night shift concessions will be reduced from 40 percent to 20 per cent.

New industries which come up in the industrially underdeveloped areas are eligible for a further reduction of 15 per cent of the tariff for the25first five years from the date of commencement of production.

State Capital Subsidy26 the Government of Tamil Nadu has declared Thovalai taluk in Kanniyakumari district as industrially backward. Under this scheme all new industries which have come up in this area areeligible for a subsidy equivalent to 15 per cent of the total fixed capital investment which includes investments in land, buliding and plant, the maximum amount of subisidy to which they are eligible is Rs.3/- lakhs. Further existing units having an expansion programme of not less than 10 per cent of the fixed capital investments are also eligible for proportionate subsidy.

Central Subsidy The Government of India in 1980 have declared the entire Kanniyakumari district as industrially backward. So under this scheme all new industries started on or after 1 April 1983 have become eligible for 10 per cent subsidy towards their fixed capital investment (i.e.) land, building, plant and machinery subject to the maximum of Rs.10/- lakhs. Further they are also eligible for concessional finance.

Price Preference to Government Store Purchase the products manufactured by the registered small scale .units are allowed a price preference of 15 per cent, when purchases are made by the State Government and Quasi-Government undertakings.

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) : The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development which hitherto concentrated on farming activities has extended its operation to assist small scale industries also through the Kanniyakumari district Central Cooperative Bank.

[1] Approximate

Industrial Estates:       The industrial Estates provide technicalknowhow and infrastructure to the small scale industries like provision of sheds and developed plots in suitable locations to the entrepreneurs either on hire purchase or rental basis, and the Tamil Nadu Small Industries Development Corporation (SIDCO) is the main agency. This has established two industrial estates, one at Marthandam and the other at Nagercoil, the details of which are as below : –

Industrial Estate, Marthandam It is located at Kappikadu, which is at a distance of 3 km. from Marthandam proper. It was established in 1959 in an extent of 7.50 acres. One unit has come up as in 1986.

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