TamiraSES project.

27 September 2022.


TamiraSES project is being jointly implemented restore Thamirabarani river.


  • TamiraSES project is jointly implemented by the district administration of Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru-based NGO Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE).
  • The project involves the use of “hyper-local” approach to restore one Thamirabarani river.
  • Its objective is to restore the social ecological systems of the Thamirabarani river’s riverscape, covering head-waters, estuaries and surrounding areas to enable the native conditions of the biodiversity to thrive.
  • It will restore Thamirabarani as well as all the waterbodies in the riverscape.
  • Under the first phase of this project, five social ecological observatories will be set up. These will act as pilots to help the project expand further.
  • This phase will be limited to the borders of Tirunelveli district.
  • It was launched as an experimental project since it focuses mainly on community engagement instead of the relying solely on technical and nature-based solutions as was done in national and international river restoration projects.

About Thamirabarani river

The Thamirabarani river originates from Agastyarkoodam peak of Pothigai hills in Western Ghats. It is the only perennial river in Tamil Nadu. Its source is the confluence of the tributaries of Kodayar River – Kothai and Madhumalai. This 128 km-long perennial river flows through Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts of the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It drains into the Gulf of Mannar – a shallow bay that forms part of the Laccadive Sea in the Indian Ocean. Thus, it originates and ends in Tamil Nadu. It supports wildlife like the Nilgiri marten, slender loris, lion-tailed macaque, white spotted bush frog, galaxy frog, Sri Lankan Atlas moth and the great hornbill. This river also holds historic significance. It was mentioned in Sangam literature. It is recognized as a holy river in famous Sanskrit literatures like Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana.

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