Neyveli & Its Lignite Mines
Neyveli is a mining and power generation township in Cuddalore district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located at 11.533° N - 79.48° E and has Panruti as Taluk headquarters. It is 62 kilometers (39 mi) inland from Bay of Bengal, west of Pondicherry and 197 kilometers (122 mi) south of Chennai, located 8 kilometers (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 kilometers (6.2 mi) north of the original Neyveli Village. Today the Township covers 53 square kilometers 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. NLC contributes about 2,500 megawatts and another 250 megawatts of Thermal power is by Saudi based TAQA Neyveli in Uthangal. 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 goat herders.
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 complex and mining sites. However permission to visit these places is selective.
Neyveli Township 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 types of scenery are there to visit and it will be worth spending some time here.
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 5 July 2013 to 14 July 2013, 10.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. on all days at Book Fair Grounds, Block-11.
Safety Week is a week-long 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.
The Nataraja 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 tones 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 Panchaloha 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 are 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 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 Vikravandi-Thanjavur National Highway NH 45C and the Cuddalore-Virudhachalam-Salem National Highway NH-532 route.
Most outstation goers towards Chennai, Bangalore, Kumbakonam, Tanjore, Vellore, Tirupathi, Villupuram, Panruti 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, Kumuli are available at the Bus Stand in (Cuddalore-Virudhachalam-Salem), National Highway NH 532, Which is also 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. 100Crs has been allotted for National Highway 532 by the Central Government for converting it to Four-lane roads, Works started in May 2015 NH45C project may start from February 2016 once the bidding is completed.
Neyveli has a railway station which lies on the Cuddalore-Salem railway line. Daily 6 Passenger Trains pass through the town i.e. the Cuddalore Port-Trichy passenger, ‘ Karaikal-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).