Rising water level due to high tide threatens Kuttanad paddy field

It has been a difficult two months for rice farmers in Alappuzha district, especially in Kuttanad.

Heavy downpours and floods that hit the region in October and November destroyed paddy (supplemental crop) over large areas in Upper Kuttanad and Kuttanad and caused massive losses to farmers.

After the devastation caused by natural calamities, seeds recently supplied to farmers in several parts of the region for the puncha (first) harvest season have failed to germinate.

This particular problem and other problems caused by the floods have been at least partially resolved with the help of government intervention and farmers have shown great resilience as the region prepares for another season. agricultural.

Finally, while everything seems to be in place for the sowing of the puncha crop season, already late, a new challenge in the form of rising waters, caused by the intrusion of sea water in Vembanad Lake by Thanneermukkom Dam due to high tide, looms above Kuttanad paddy fields.

The phenomenon, a recurrent problem, has negatively affected field preparation activities in several places. Several units of
padasekhara samiti in Champakulam, Pulinkunnu, Kavalam among others have not yet completed the drying of the paddy fields as the process has been hampered by higher water levels.

Farmers are worried that the sudden rise in water level in the morning due to high tide and a drop in water level in the evening during low tide will lead to dyke failures. The outer bunds of a number of fields are in a weakened state.

The farmers say that the continuous intrusion of sea water will increase the salinity of the lake, which will be detrimental to paddy cultivation in Kuttanad.

“The rise in water level in Kuttanad caused by seawater intrusion started a week ago. The water was rising about a foot in the morning and receding in the evening. On time Currently, there is no threat of salinity, as there is a steady flow to the sea. But if the water intrusion continues unabated, the situation will change,” said a rice farmer.

Besides threatening rice cultivation, the water entered a number of houses and flooded parts of the Alappuzha-Changanassery road and rural roads in the area.

Farmers and leaders of various political parties urged the district administration to immediately close all the shutters of the Thanneermukkom dyke to prevent sea water from entering the lake.

Meanwhile, farmers in Upper Kuttanad have urged authorities to immediately close the Thrikunnapuzha cheepu and build dykes in the canals to prevent saltwater intrusion into fields in the area.

Back To Top