IIT study on reducing flooding in Kuttanad

Hundreds of people were evacuated from Kuttanad during the 2018 floods.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from Kuttanad during the 2018 floods.   | Photo Credit: Leju Kamal

Under Rebuild Kerala Initiative

The Irrigation Department has entrusted the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, (IIT-Madras), with the task of conducting hydrodynamics studies for implementing the ‘Room for the River’ concept in the flood-prone Kuttanad region.

The study will look at multiple components that are integral to reducing flooding in low-lying Kuttanad, Irrigation Department officials said.

It will include methods to improve the efficiency of the Thottapally spillway system, the feasibility of further extending the Alappuzha-Changanassery Canal (AC Canal) and possible solutions to the formation of sandbars at the estuary mouth beyond the spillway.

From the Netherlands

‘Room for the River’ is a flood-mitigation concept successfully demonstrated by the Netherlands.

As the name suggests, the concept hinges on managing flooding by giving rivers more ‘room’ to flow.

One of several flood-mitigation concepts studied by the Irrigation Department in the aftermath of the 2018 floods, ‘Room for the River’ adapted to the Kerala scenario was deemed best suited to Kuttanad.The Kerala FloodCon 2020 organised by the Water Resources Department in January for framing policies and strategies for flood management had attributed the increase in flood damages to encroachments upon flood plains and reclamation of waterbodies and wetlands that leave less room for water.The curtailed capacity of the Vembanad lake and the Thottapally spillway worsened flooding at Kuttanad and the backwaters, experts attending the conference had pointed out.

Rebuild Kerala

The ‘Room for the River’ concept will be implemented through the Rebuild Kerala Initiative. In December 2019, the State government had given administrative sanction for preparing the detailed project report at a cost of ₹4.5 crore. The money for carrying out hydrodynamics studies will be sourced from this amount.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 9:37:40 PM |

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