Kerala

KSSP calls for deepening of channel at Thottappally

Excavated sand must be redeposited at Purakkad coast

The Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) has urged the State government to ensure the deepening of the leading channel of the Thottappally spillway along with the opening of the Thottappally pozhi (sandbar) mouth.

In a statement issued here on Monday, KSSP district president, B. Krishnakumar said that the sand removed from the Thottappally pozhi should be redeposited, after separating minerals, at Purakkad coast (north of the Thottappally harbour), where coastal erosion was rampant. He said that the move to redeposit the sand at Chellanam was unscientific.

“The government is deepening the leading channel and removing sand from the Thottappally pozhi mouth to reduce the severity of the flood. Although there is a difference of opinion, it needs to be done on an experimental basis. The sand is given to Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML) and Indian Rare Earths, both public sector undertakings. But, local residents remain sceptical of the government move. This is because a lot of enthusiasm is being shown in removing mineral-rich sand from the pozhi, but at the same time departments concerned are showing a lackadaisical attitude in regard to the deepening of the leading channel,” Mr. Krishnakumar said.

He said that along with deepening of the leading channel, steps should also be taken to restore its width at the earliest.

Deepen other pozhis

“The Thottappally Spillway alone will not be sufficient to ensure the flow of excess water. The Thrikunnapuzha cheepu should be opened along with deepening of small pozhis,” Mr. Krishnakumar said.

The KSSP suggested the planting of plants of different species to protect the coast and prevent sea erosion.

Last month, as per a State government decision, around 550 trees in a land in the possession of the Irrigation Department close to the Thottappally pozhi were chopped down.

According to the government, the trees were felled to widen and deepen the mouth of the pozhi to ensure the smooth flow of water from Kuttanad through the Thottappally Spillway to sea. The government further allowed the KMML to remove sand from the pozhi and the place where the trees once stood. According to officials, the KMML has been given permission to extract two lakh cubic m. of sand. The KMML will pay ₹465 per cubic m.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 4:04:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kssp-calls-for-deepening-of-channel-at-thottappally/article31782060.ece

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