Kerala floods one month after: Crops destroyed, Vaikom farmers determined

The entire paddy cultivation in these fields, having a growth of two to 45 days, has been destroyed in breach of bunds.

Published: 18th September 2018 04:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2018 04:08 AM   |  A+A-

Farmers engaged in rebuilding the outer bund of Vanam South paddy polders in Thalayazham grama panchayat in Vaikom | Vishnu Prathap

Express News Service

VAIKOM: Surrounded by plenty of dikes, the lush paddy fields in Thalayazham grama panchayat in Vaikom appeared to be a collection of several gigantic ponds, formed as a result of the recent floods. The rich polders would have been seen otherwise in a fascinating yellow of matured paddy plants had the floods not ravaged the cultivation.

The entire paddy cultivation in these fields, having a growth of two to 45 days, has been destroyed in breach of bunds. While sailing through the Kottayam–Vaikom (KV) Canal and other interior channels, the sight is heartbreaking as months-long hard work of farmers lay shattered in floodwater, wiping out their only source of income. The poor families of agricultural labourers living on the banks of these polders are struggling to resume life in their damaged houses.

This is not an isolated sight, rather common to the entire Upper Kuttanad region in the western part of Kottayam district. As per official statistics, ‘virippu’ paddy cultivation in 5,818 hectares - out of the total 5989 hectares - has been washed away. Overall, agriculture in 6,740 hectares was damaged for a cumulative loss of Rs 491 crore. Weeks later, refusing to bow down to setbacks, farmers are bouncing back with all-out efforts to resume farming in the flood-ravaged paddy fields.

“The breach of bunds caused heavy damage to our fields. We are trying to rebuild bunds to equip the fields for cultivation in September itself,” said C P Karthikeyan, secretary of Vanam South paddy fields in Thalayazham. Interestingly, these farmers’ groups have raised around Rs 10 lakh for the construction of bunds by availing bank loans in the expectation that the government will soon reimburse the expenses. “This apart, around 172 motors and pump-sets were damaged. They have been repaired to resume the dewatering process,” said Muhammed Sherif, assistant engineer with the  Agriculture Department.

While the floodwater has receded and farmers are going about resuming farming, another major threat looming large over them is the impending drought.“Polders dried up and cracks appeared on the fields, threatening paddy plants. Though we are pumping in fresh water, for the time being, we can’t make it viable for long,” said TV Shajimon, secretary of Enazham paddy fields, Thalayazham.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp