Thottappally estuary widened, deepened

For smooth flow of floodwaters from Kuttanad to the sea

July 25, 2020 11:29 pm | Updated 11:29 pm IST - Alappuzha

New look: The Thottappally estuary, the widening of which has been completed in 59 days.

New look: The Thottappally estuary, the widening of which has been completed in 59 days.

The Irrigation Department has completed the deepening and widening of the Thottappally estuary.

Arun K. Jacob, executive engineer, Irrigation Division, Alappuzha said on Saturday that the work was finished in 59 days.

Apart from deepening the estuary, the width of the estuary mouth was increased to 360 metres by removing sand. Earlier the estuary mouth had a width of 190 metres.

The work in the downstream of the Thottappally spillway was carried out to ensure the smooth flow of floodwaters from Kuttanad to the sea.

A narrow sandbar

Now, a narrow sandbar separates the channel and sea. The sandbar would be removed only when the need to drain excess water arose, the official said.

Water Resources Minister K. Krishnankutty, who visited Thottappally on Thursday, congratulated Irrigation Department officials for completing the work way ahead of the schedule.

Tree felling

In May, as part of widening and deepening of the ‘pozhi,’ around 550 trees on a plot in the possession of the Irrigation Department close to the pozhi had been cut down by invoking various sections under the Disaster Management Act.

The government further allowed the Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML) to remove mineral-rich sand from the pozhi and from the place where the trees stood. This led to massive protests. Local residents, especially fisherfolk, alleged that the government’s move was aimed at large-scale extraction of mineral sand under the disguise of flood mitigation.

High Court order

Although the residents were not against sand removal from the pozhi, which was an annual process to ensure the flow of floodwaters into the sea, they vigorously opposed the transportation of mineral sand to KMML’s unit at Chavara.

On June 17, the High Court passed an interim order directing the KMML to comply with the stop memo issued by the Purakkad grama panchayat against the transportation of sand. However, the court lifted the ban two days later.

The protest was suspended recently after the KMML temporarily stopped transportation of sand in view of the COVID-19 situation.

The Irrigation Department is also dredging the 11-km-long leading channel (upstream) of the spillway, for which the work has been awarded to a separate contractor.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.