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The paper aims to look at the interactions between colonial geography, developmental geography and ecological geography in Kuttanad region, in the south Indian state of Kerala. It mainly looks at the two phases of ‘capitalistic’ accumulation; the early period of kayal (backwater) reclamation and the present period of re-reclamation. Development through primitive accumulation (DPA), actively supported, promoted and managed by the State, is seen to be the common thread in both the periods. One can easily discern that commoning is integral to this continuing process of DPA, which involves appropriation, distribution and production of commons. The extended argument of the paper is that enclosure of land and entanglement of labour- the twin constitutive features of DPA is actualised through what we term as accumulation by urbanisation (AbU) and dispossession by displacement (DbD). The study attempts to explore the consolidation of state, in the form of superimposition of bourgeois forms of property and social relations, through the creation of developmental zones as New Spatialities of Exception (NSEs) in Kuttanad; and the appropriation, distribution and production of various types of commons in the developmental zones of Kuttanad.