Alappuzha: Amid floods in major parts of Kerala, a region that regularly gets marooned every monsoon is taking steps to mitigate another disaster as had happened last year around the same time. Efforts are on to increase the depth and width of spillway at Thottapally in Alappuzha district so that water drains out into the sea smoothly, without clogging the estuaries and river valleys upstream.
Though the rains have subsided in southern parts of Kerala, the flow of water into the sea has not reduced. The Water Resources Department has decided to increase the width of the spillway by more than 250 metres. This is for doubling of the inflow of the water into the sea. Four machines are being used for this purpose.
The main problem with the spillway is the lack of depth of the leading channel. The depth of the spillway canals were also not increased on time. Only 26,000 cubic feet of water per second is being drained out through the spillway, though it is meant to drain out 65,000 cubic feet of water per second.
Though the low-lying areas of Thanneermukkom Bund, further north, have been inundated, the water level of the backwaters have not risen unusually. The 90 shutters of the bund have been raised, ensuring the speedy flow of the water into the sea. As of now, the maximum water level of Vembanad Lake is at 1.20 m. During the August floods last year, the water level in this lake had risen to 2.7 m.
Thanneermukkom Bund is a Salt Water Barrier across the Vembanad Lake.