Tirunelveli (About this sound pronunciation, also known as Nellai, and historically (during British rule) as Tinnevelly, is a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the headquarters of the Tirunelveli District in Tamil Nadu. It is situated 700 kilometres (435 mi) southwest of the state capital Chennai, and about 130 km from Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala.
Tirunelveli has a range of large industries, including cement factories, beedi (tobacco) companies, steel products, and mills for cotton textiles, spinning and weaving. There are also many small scale industries, such as tanneries and brick kilns, many of which are supported by NELSIA (Nellai Small Scale Industries Association).
In June 2007, the Tata Group signed an MOU with the State Government for the opening of a titanium dioxide plant estimated at INR 2500 crore in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts. The original MOU for the techno-economic feasibility study for setting up the project was signed by Tata Group and the State Government in 2002. The project was expected to create job opportunities for over 1000 people directly and an estimated 3000 indirectly. However, the State Government put the project on hold after growing protests against the project.