Kerala

‘Room for the River’ model for Kuttanad

Initiative christened ‘Room for Pampa’ and ‘Room for Vembanad’

The Planning Board has suggested a modest adaptation of the Dutch concept of ‘Room for the River’ to the Kuttanad scenario as part of a ₹2,447.66-crore special package for the post-flood development of the region.

Christened ‘Room for Pampa,’ it would, among other things, reduce flooding in upper and lower Kuttanad. For the protection of the Vembanad lake, the board recommended an action plan titled ‘Room for Vembanad.’

The Planning Board has underlined the need to prepare a crop calendar for paddy and suggested integrated farming systems and value addition for enhancing farmer incomes. Further, it recommended a number of measures, notably a wider and deeper leading channel, for improving the efficiency of the Thottapally Spillway.

An important recommendation deals with the need for heightened environment surveillance in the region. “Regular monitoring of the Kuttanad ecosystem has to be ensured for the hydrological and hydrobiological aspects, monitoring of pesticide residues and presence of heavy metals. The sources of these pollutants have to be identified and measures are to be taken to control them,” the Planning Board report said.

Waste disposal

Emphasis has been placed on adequate waste disposal mechanisms in Kuttanad, responsible tourism and the need to ensure 100% water supply.

The Planning Board noted that the first Kuttanad Package had been hamstrung by lack of coordination, adding that any future policy on Kuttanad must have “productivity, profitability, ecology, security and cooperation” as its cornerstones.

“We believe that these are not mutually exclusive objectives. These objectives can be attained by making use of modern technologies, scientific planning for water management, building up appropriate flood proofing systems and deepening democracy in the decision-making process,” it said.

Planning Board Vice Chairman V.K. Ramachandran, Ministers T.M. Thomas Isaac, E. Chandrasekharan, Kadannapally Ramachandran, A.K. Saseendran, and Planning Board members were present at the release of the report.

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Printable version | May 21, 2020 12:01:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/room-for-the-river-model-for-kuttanad/article29650743.ece

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