Scores of artistes, who are currently on a campaign from Kanyakumari to Chennai creating awareness on environmental protection, were given a rousing reception in the city on Sunday. Organised by the Tamil Nadu Environment Committee, the 11-day campaign concludes on October 29 at Chennai.

The theme of the play centred around the reckless damage being caused to environment, impact of cultivation of plantation crops on ecology, lack of irrigational water facility caused by non-maintenance of water-bodies so on and so forth. It also sensitised the masses to their responsibilities towards protection of surface water, prevention of pollution and avoiding massive extraction of ground water and proper utilisation of land resource.

The entire state was divided into three geographical zones - mountains, coastal districts and plain areas. In all, 36 artistes, divided into three batches comprising 12 artistes each, have been touring their respective zone and will converge at Chennai.

Speaking at the reception accorded to the artistes in the city, the Co-ordinator of the Advocates wing of the forum, J. Kennedy said that the focus of the campaign was to urge both the Central and state governments to constitute an exclusive ministry for water resource management. Presently, water resource management formed part of a portfolio, he said.

The Co-ordinator of the Federation of the Tamil Nadu River Resource Protection Committee, Annadurai, who presided over the campaign, said that over two lakh signatures were being obtained from the members of the public in support of the demand for a separate ministry for water resource management and the same would be submitted to the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at Chennai on October 29.

An artiste, Anandan, said that apart from Tiruchi city, the cultural programmes were organised at various centres including Mannachanallur, Lalgudi, Dalmiapuram and Pullampadi.