During the season of water regattas a river here has almost dried up. The water level in the Varattar which links the Pampa and the Manimalayar has been going down for the past 25 years. Even during the monsoon there is no water flow in the 9.5-kilometre-long river.
The sand mining has deepened the river bed level at the originating point near Arattupuzha. Instead of a bridge a short bund was constructed there 30 years ago which prevents the natural flow of water. Moreover, encroachments are rampant on either side of the river. On the encroached part of the river people have planted coconut trees and other plants.
The State Human Rights Commission had directed the Water Resources Department, the Soil Conservation and Geology Department and the State Pollution Control Board to conduct a joint scientific study on the factors that resulted in reduced water flow in the Varattar.
But no action in this regard has taken place so far. Recently the Irrigation Department submitted a proposal to deepen the river.
But the organisations, including the National Farmers Service Society oppose this project. According to the society unscientific construction of bridges and roads are the major cause for the decrease in the water flow of the Varattar.
“If these realities are ignored, the ground water table in the vicinity of the river will drop and the wells on the river banks will dry out. The government should immediately construct a bridge at the originating point and other needed places, society secretary V Jayakumar said.
Journey of snake boats hit
The offerings of Vallasadya to the Palliodams (snake boats) will start on July 30 at Aranmula temple. The snake boats will have to reach there through the river Pampa. Four boats from the banks of Varattar - ‘Othera’, ‘Puthukkulngara’, ‘Kizhakkanothara’ ‘Kunnekadu’ and ‘Thymaravumkara’ - have to participate in the ceremony. It will be difficult to propel these snake boats through the Varattar.
The Thymaravumkara Palliodam has been anchored near the river Pampa at chengannoor for around 20 years. Pallioda Seva Sangham (PSS) president K V Sambadevan performed the Neeraniyal ceremony of Kizhakkanothara Kunnekadu Palliodam on Sunday on the banks of Varattar. He said he would bring the issue to the notice of the Water Resources Minister.