Tuticorin district, carved out of Tirunelveli on October 10, 1986, is poised for growth if one goes by the development plans planned by various departments.
With a total area of 4,621 sq. km, constituting about 3.5 percent of the geographical area of the State, the density of population in the district stands at 339 persons per sq. km against the State average of 428 persons, according to the 2001-census.
A mega infrastructure development project to develop the cargo handling capacity at the Tuticorin port during the 11th Five Year Plan is set to act as a catalyst for industrial growth of this town and nearby areas.
The Tuticorin Port Trust plans to develop the infrastructure on an outlay of Rs. 6,380 crore by 2012), envisaging a cargo traffic of 78.1 million tonnes of cargo by that time. About Rs. 4,000 crore will be earmarked for the development of the outer harbour alone.
The project, once completed, will facilitate the visit of Post- Panamax-sized vessels to the port. Construction of four container berths with a total quay length of 1.5 km will catapult the container handling capabilities to greater heights.
The inner harbour development project include establishment of Berth 9 and North cargo Berth-I and II, among others. The setting up of Berth 9, which is basically the westward extension of Berth 8, will enable the port to handle large-size mainline vessels of 65,000 DWT (dead weight tonnage) and bulk carriers of 70,000 DWT with a maximum draught of 12.8 metres.
The district administration plans to augment agriculture production through a string of projects to ensure economic development of the predominant agrarian population in the district.
The administration plans to invest Rs. 30 crore during the current financial year using the corpus earmarked under the head of National Agriculture Development Programme. Under the project, farmers will be given credit to procure high yielding seeds, high quality fertilizers, state-of-the-art farm implements and machinery.
Further, the administration will establish godowns and cold storage units in rural areas under the scheme to help farmers to store their produce till they are able to fetch remunerative prices and thereby avoid distress sale.
Communication facilities, which play a vital role in the development of any region, too set to scale new heights in the district. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has chalked out an expansion plan to improve the quality of cell phone coverage in the district by establishing 40 cell towers. This will be in addition to the 79 cell towers functioning now.
Four more Base Trans-receiver Stations will be set up to increase the quality of WiLL (wireless in local loop) coverage.
R. Vimal Kumar