Call to restore wetland ecosystem of Kuttanad

A seminar organised by the Upper Kuttanad farmers here on Sunday has called for restoration of the fast degenerating fragile wetland ecosystem of Kuttanad.

Inaugurating the seminar, K. G. Padmakumar, director, Regional Agriculture Research Station, Kumarakom, pointed out that the proposed Kuttanad package was found wanting in projects that would deepen the arterial canals. These canals presently flood the Vembanad with silt and thus contribute to the deterioration of the ecosystem.

Rev. Thomas Peelianickal, executive director, Kuttanad Vikasana Samithy, (KVS) alleged the Kuttanad package in its current form was directionless and faced an uncertain future. The participants who spoke at the seminar, mostly farmers and activists, pointed out that much of the projects in the Kuttanand Package in the present form focuses on the strengthening of the bunds, especially outer bunds.

However, the outer bunds of the polders have been reinforced with granite during the past two decades under various schemes.

Any move to spend crores of rupees on redoing what has already been done, would only lead to massive corruption and mismanagement, they said.

The seminar also called for works that would ease the water flow since nearly 78 per cent of the Vemabanad lake was destroyed by inflow of silt. The seminar also called for re-prioritising the package. It wanted the revival of the unique wetland ecosystem and development of the people of Kuttanad to be the focal point in the package. The seminar felt that one of the most effective ways to bring back a healthy ecosystem would be by allowing controlled inflow of brackish water into the lake.

V. Sreedharan, chairman, Upper kuttanadan Karshaka Koottayma, inaugurated the function. District Panchayat president Radha V. Nair, vice-president K. A. Appachan, and others spoke.

  • Canals flowing into Vembanad need to be deepened
  • Controlled inflow of brackish water into Vembanad mooted

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