THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Referring to the Thottappally spillway and the Thanneermukkom bund, he said frequent human interference had drastically altered Kuttanad’s geography and ecological system.
“There is a need to consider remedial measures. Kuttanad being a fragile ecological system, in the wake of the recent floods, this should be discussed in detail. It is high time a rethink about the farming practices was done here, which should be according to the habitat and ecology of the region,” he said.
Babu Paul, who was Idukki District Collector when the dams were commissioned, vouched for its safety. There were no lapses in its construction. He opined that the floods need not be due to the opening of dam shutters. Considering the fact that there’s no higher alert after red alert, the water storage in dams should be kept at least one metre - can go up to 10 ft - below the full reservoir level.
Referring to the Hungry Water Phenomenon - clear water coming down from the reservoir will have no sediments and hence may lead to soil erosion - Babu Paul said there is a need for mapping the flood plains. Ideally, no constructions should be allowed in this region. Also, flood mapping would help identify the risk zones.
Mentioning about the Madhav Gadgil report on the Western Ghats, he said most of the critics haven’t read the report. In view of the new scenario, the government should plan for the those affected due to such calamities - what’s being termed as ‘climate refugees’ by social scientists - is needed. He also urged the state to document the floods for future purposes.