Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the rain shadow region of Western Ghats and represents a large number of plants and animals unique to the thorny vegetation. Apart from the dry thorn forests, due to the significant variation in altitude and rainfall, it has a wide array of habitat types like deciduous forests, dry thorny forest, riparian forest, sholas and grasslands that are interspersed with plains, hillocks, rocks and cliffs which provide microhabitats for varied forms of life. The Sanctuary falls under the Anamudi Elephant Reserve.
The Chinnar wild life sanctuary has many tribal settlements and one among them is Champakkudy Tribal Settlement near the river Pambar. This settlement is situated in the rain shadow region and hence the area experiences prolonged hot/dry season and much less rainy days. The Chinnar plains are generally hot. Rainfall is an important parameter in regulating the temperature in the Sanctuary. The solar radiation in Chinnar is high, mainly because of less cloud cover. The major rainfall season is during the north-east monsoons occurring during October- December. The temperature of the area is influenced by the Coimbatore-Mysore thermic regime. The mean temperature is relatively constant from July to October. The region has 6-7 month of dry period.
Most of the rivulets and streams inside the Sanctuary come alive immediately after the north-east monsoons and dry up soon. The water in the check dams remains for a longer period but they also dry up during summer months. But a few streams originating from the upper reaches are perennial. Check dams also remain dry for most of the year and at present, are silted up. When the north-east monsoons fail, as in recent years, water is a limiting factor in the region.
Due to water scarcity all the agricultural lands near the settlement are abandoned. Although there were some irrigation projects implemented, it was abandoned due to practical issues. The need of irrigation project was very essential in the area. All the agricultural lands are abandoned and the agriculture at this area is almost nil now due to scarcity of water. Although the Champakkudy Setllement is near the river Pampar, which is perennial, all the agricultural lands lie at higher altitude, so pumping of water is required if water is to be collected for irrigation. Pumping of water using electrical motor is out of scope as the site is inside the forest. An already installed irrigation project with the help of diesel motors is abandoned due to operational hurdles.
With the help of Kerala Forest Department, SDC of the Department, with help of our 25 students, conducted an extensive total station survey of the entire region. A detailed proposal was submitted. The proposal was to collect water from high altitudes of Pampar river,near thoovanam water falls, deep inside the forest. The settlement was at a lower elevation, so the water freely flows by gravity. it is a zero energy work, requires no energy, continues round the clock, so a large amount of water get collected. The collected water is divided for irrigation and house hold use. A drip irrigation plan and water treatment by zero energy process was proposed for the area. The project is now under the consideration of Forest Department.
For our Students, this was an opportunity to get exposed to design and execution of water treatment and irrigation projects with minimal resources. Along with this our students got an opportunity to know nature and study how to Improve living conditions through conservation of bio diversity, protection of environment, soil and water They also learned great lessons of empowering weaker sections of the society through the Civil Engineering Technology they have acquired from Saintgits.
Nagompadom bus stand complex at the centre of Kottayam is an old building, whose top floors are not in use now due to low acesssibility. More over yearly a number of deaths occur in the area due to accidents to passengers inside the bus stand. Our students, with the help of mincipality, prepred a detailed study of the problem. They analysed each and every point one by one, solving every and they submitted a technical report along with a scaled model. This will surely aid in the future developments of the area.
We have a Social Development Cell,consisting of faculty and students, which takes up projects for the weaker sessions of society. This cell is a helping hand for
We give free support to build homes less than 500 square feet for economically backward classes. Through the cell we help them in building planning, its permit from local bodies, and to full fill other requirements as per building rules.
Trainings are given to common people regarding building science.
Suggestion of maintainance and rehabilitation techniques for buildings
Free support for planning and design of orphanages, old age homes under service societies.