Work done as per an order of district administration

The Paravur estuary that was lying blocked by a sand bar this summer was breached on Tuesday on the basis of an order by the district administration.

The estuary is the outlet of the lake into the sea.

It was to drain away water from the flooded low-lying areas around the Paravur Lake that the estuary was breached.

Preliminary assessment on the flow of water from the lake into the sea through the breached portion does not give much hope of bringing down the water level of the lake. Experts say that a clear picture will emerge only during the high tide. There are fears that during high tide, the sea may deposit sand along the estuary.

Under the supervision of the officers from the Water Resources Department (WRD), the work to mechanically breach the estuary began at 11.30 a.m. and was fully breached at 5.30 p.m.

Crowd as audience

A huge crowd from Paravur town and nearby areas gathered at the site to witness the breaching.

There were widespread protests since the past two weeks over attempts to breach the estuary. The attempts to breach the estuary were allegedly at the instance of tourist operators and shrimp farm owners around the lake. Their contention was that since the estuary remained blocked, the water level in the lake swelled in the summer rains and flooded their projects.

But the efforts to breach the estuary received still resistance from people of Paravur and several other areas including the beneficiary areas of the Ithikara River that feeds the lake. The issue led to fears of law and order problems in the area.

Even on Monday, when the WRD came equipped with the district administration order to breach the estuary on conditions, the people resisted it.

Later, through the intervention of the police, a consensus was reached at an all-party meeting on the basis of which the people allowed the estuary to be breached.

Opposition

People opposed the breaching of the estuary on grounds that it would lead to water scarcity.

The sandbar that formed across the estuary helped to preserve the lake’s water and in the process enabled wells and other water sources to remain hydrated during the summer. The people say that the areas which got flooded were portions of the lake that were reclaimed allegedly for projects.

According to the people, it was after a gap of 18 years that they got ample water during summer. This phenomenon benefitted people living in the grama panchayats of Pooyapally, Velinellur, Adichanallur, Ithikara, parts of Mayyanad, Chathannur, Chirkkara, Boothakulam, Polachira, Elakaman, Edava, and the Paravur municipal area.

As per the order of the district administration, the breaching should be carried out in such a way that it should not create water scarcity in the beneficiary areas while ensuring that the water from the flooded areas is drained.

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