KUTTANADU PACKAGE Distress to DisasterKERALA SASTRA SAHITHYA PARISHAD, ALAPPUZHA
KUTTANADU PACKAGE Distress to Disaster ONGOING CONSTRUCTIONS Upsets the priority set by the commission Pillar slab and granite outer bunds in total disregard of the fragile ecosystem Constructions further shrink the flood plane , block canal, drainages Neither concerned about eco restoration, nor worried about expanding livelihood opportunities
KUTTANADU Den of Distress• Kuttanadu has become den of distress due to man- made crisis created on ecology, agriculture, livelihoods and alternate options- commission• Ecological decay, economic entropy, livelihood loss and social sedations are being experienced under the development paradigms characterised by inappropriate options- commission• First and foremost challenge is eco restoration. Forward movement in productivity, profitability and sustainability- issues of high priority.
KUTTANADU PACKAGEThe 15 tasks set by the commission A- Strengthening ecological security. 1. Protection and restoration of water spread area. 2. Salinity, flood management. 3. Pollution control 4. Elimination of aquatic weeds 5. Augmenting bio- diversity in back waters 6. Improving health and sanitation
KUTTANADU PACKAGE The 15 tasks set by commissionB –Expanding sustainable livelihood security B1-Agri based livelihood 7. SAZ 8. Infrastructure support for paddy cultivation 9. Crop calendar 10. Research and extension 11. Economic viability 12. coconut based enterprises and integrated farming
KUTTANADU PACKAGEThe 15 tasks set by commission B –Expanding sustainable livelihood security B2-Inland fisheries based livelihood 13. Actions to promote fishery wealth of vembanadu kayal 14. Promoting Fisheries infrastruture, capacity and fishermen welfare
KUTTANADU PACKAGE The 15 tasks set by commissionB –Expanding sustainable livelihood security B 3- Water Tourism in Kuttanadu Ecology 15. Infrastructure support to facilitate tourism
Nursing and nurturing an abused ecosystem back to health is fundamental to revival and expansion of livelihood – Commission.
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Ecological DisasterFlood & Salinity Management • Modernization of TSB, TSW. Permanent regulators in place of orumuttus. • Removal of blocks in rivers and canals. • Roads and other public works have violated environmental norms and cause of serious concern. • Construction of two new canals between C&D blocks and rani&chithira with required depth and width to facilitate egress of flood water from tharisu kayal to V kayal.
Ecological Disaster Aggressive water pollution and water seeds. Low salinity in vembanadu proves to be disastrous. Loss of bio diversity. Substantial decline in species diversity, population diversity of flora and fauna due to low salinity, growth of water weeds and developmental initiatives. 23 species of fish lost. Preventing migration of 13 species. 33% decline in bird population . Brought in predatory birds.
Ecological disaster isboomeranging on human health.Blocked water ways breedingground for mosquitoes.Increasing rodent , reptilepopulation. Revival of existing ponds , canalsystem are recommended.80% depends contaminated canalwater for daily needs.
Alleviation of Agricultural Disaster• Paddy declined from 60921ha in 1967 to37624 in 2003.• A linear projection leads to the total elimination of paddy in ktnd by 2020• High cost of production , low prices and exploitative markets are the reasons for sharp decline• Recurring exp. on infrastructure, outer bund , contribute to the high cost (surprisingly commission calculates it to be between 10%-20% only whereas the labor cost is 60- 74 %. 10%- 60- Nor the spiraling fertilizer, pesticide cost has been considered. Net result, the entire thrust has been on outer bund construction )
Other Recommendations toAlleviate Agricultural Distress Division of larger polders. Regulation of salt water intrusion. De-silting and renovation of irrigation and drainage streams (De- siltation shall be done sometime after granite pitching and then the bunds will collapse on de-siltation and the process will continue !!) New crop calendar and so many good things such as 1P-1F, labor bank, group farming etc (but the present package is packed with outer bund construction)
Special Agricultural Zone (SAZ)The area is a part of fragile but beautiful wetland system which is declared as a Ramsor site. For promoting eco-system friendly farming, generation of additional economic activity etc, Kuttanadu may be declared as a SAZ- commission.
Outer Bunds – What thecommission suggested? Outer bunds- Kayal land- bunds should be submersible; should not exeed 30 cms above average flood level of last 10 yrs. Priority should be given to stiff clay bunds with bio- protection though granite pitching is recognised where strength is critically important- rule is stiff clay bund Bund strengthening should not reduce the canal width.
Outer bunds- what happens Kayal land- pillar slab bunds 50-60 cms above existing bunds and 1mtr above the present water level average 1.1mtr lake ward construction resulting in further shrinkage of lake (170630.9 Sq. m in Kayal) 1085833 sq mtr. construction of virtually a great(!) wall in vemband Is it submersible? Will it be a flood plane anymore?
What is the purpose of kayal bunds? To facilitatesecond crop? Then how will it serve as flood planeduring peak mansoon?Commission report says: Rani, Chithira kayals areleft abandoned and recommends considering it foraqua culture. The ‘walls’ meant for aquaculture oragriculture? Is restoration of paddy cultivationpossible in dredged, abused kayal lands?aqua culture should be tried only in karappadamsand it shall not affect the functions ofpadasekharams as flood planes-Commission
Pillar slab great wall155.119 kms of pillar slab wall in themidst of an ecologically fragile, wet landof international importance which hasbeen declared as Ramsor site Withoutany proper EIA.
2 new canals in kayal Costruction of canals between C&D blocks and Rani & Chithira. Who decided the required width and depth of the canals? Is it an engineering question or an ecological issue? Is no EIA is required for making such canals within in the middle of vembanadu spending 42 crores?
KUTTANADU PACKAGE Distress to DisasterCANAL BUND CONSTRUCTIONS
Heaps of granite to mitigate distressGranite outer bunds Bunds are being built canalwards further reducing the canal width Existing strong bunds are unnecessarily destroyed Not even a single clay bund is considered
Environment Impact Assessment EIA notification 2006 mandates prior environment clearance (EC) for this types of projects Construction activities of this magnitude in ecologically fragile areas comes under category B1 and require EC before starting construction. KWS has been declared as Ramsor site .
Is Swaminathan Package needs no EIA?Does it mean that EIA is not required for construction of this magnitude since it is swaminathan package? Does it mean that construction of two canals in the middle of Vembanadu need no EIA and EC since it is a package? Does it mean that making of 155.119 kms of pillar slab wall in Vembanadu further shrinking water spread in a flood prone area requires no EIA? Has any body been authorised to package an Ecological Disaster?
Why not a single clay bund and Bio- Protection ? • Granite bund is a rule or an exception? • Why Stiff clay bund is not considered even in one polder? • Why existing strong bunds are destroyed and new granite bund is made even in polders where no bund breach for last one to two decades have been reported? • Why the bunds are built canal ward further reducing the canal width?
Stop constructions in Kayal Land till a proper EIA is done. • Stop constructing two new canals till EC from proper authority is obtained • Granite bund is an exception and the rule is stiff clay bunding with bio-fencing. Revisit the whole outer bund projects on this line as suggested by commission • Put it in black and white the future of kayal lands particularly Rani, Chithira and R-Block.
Eco restoration program or Engineering solutionWill it be an Eco restoration program orEngineering solution to the distressWhat we learned from the experience of TMB andTSW? Are we heading to a disaster from a distress?
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