Work on Thanneermukkom bund nearing completion

The completed third phase of the Thanneermukkom bund.  

A project mooted under the first five year plan is finally set to be fully operational.

The third phase of construction of the Thanneermukkom Bund (Regulator) is nearing completion, and is expected to be commissioned soon.

The bund across the Vembanad Lake proposed to keep the water balance and prevent intrusion of salt water into Kuttanad, known as Kerala's rice bowl, was designed by the Central Water and Power Research Station in 1956. Subsequently, the first and second phase were completed in 1965 and 1975 respectively. Further, the barrage was made operational in 1976 after connecting the bunds in the western and eastern sides by a 470-metre long reclaimed portion in the middle of the backwaters.

The third phase of construction, which commenced in September 2014, will replace the earth bank in the middle by 28 steel shutters.

Irrigation Department executive engineer Haran Babu said that the installation of shutters would be completed soon. “We have already fitted 14 shutters and work on rest are going on,” Mr. Babu said.

Once completed, the Thanneermukkom Bund with a total span of 1,410 metres will have a total of 90 shutters including 31 shutters each in the western and eastern sides. The third phase is being constructed in 433 metres length and 12 metres width at a cost of ₹181 crore. Along with it, a new hydraulic boat lock in 14 metres width is also being installed. This, according to officials, is expected to make the boat journeys through the lake hassle-free

Meanwhile, officials said that the the new bridge would be opened to traffic in the coming days. “The construction of the approach roads connecting the new bund with the other two bunds in the western and eastern sides of the lake have been completed. The traffic will be diverted over the new bund before the demolition of the earth bank,” said an official. The Thannermukkom Bund road connects Vechoor in Kottayam district and Thanneermukkom in Alappuzha district.

Although the embankment in the middle of the backwaters would be removed, the Irrigation Department has decided to keep two small portions in the waters at the both ends of the new regulator. The decision has invited wrath of fishermen community and environmentalists. Those opposing the earth banks point out that it would impede the natural flow of water on a permanent basis and result in further accumulation of silt. However, Irrigation Department officials said that the earth banks were maintained as per the original plan and to cater to various needs.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 7:16:10 PM |

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