Alappuzha: Even as alarming reports of land subsidence at Joshimath in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand come in, such a phenomenon caused by geological instability apparently caused by drastic human interference in physical environment cannot be ruled out in Kerala's low-lying Kuttanad region which is famed as the rice bowl of the southern state.
The study also found that Munroe Island (Manroethuruthu), Pattomthuruthu, and Peringalam in Kollam district were also sinking dangerously, in addition to areas in Kuttanad.
Researchers have found that many areas in Kuttanad have subsided by 20 cm to 30 cm after the 2018 floods.
As is well known Kuttanad region mostly falling in the Alappuzha district of Kerala lies below sea level.
Why is land sinking?
The dry lands and fields remaining flooded for prolonged periods during the 2018 floods is the reason for the subsidence that is being experienced now, the report said. The flood water seeped down into the earth and compacted the soil underneath. The land began to sink after this. The study says that this is the reason why tides have been causing water logging in recent years.
The study that was conducted under the leadership of K G Padmakumar, director of the International Research and Training Centre for Below Sea-Level Farming, found that lands in Kainakary and Mankompu areas are sinking. The study also says that the problem does not exist in areas such as Edathua and Thalavady which are on a comparatively higher level.
What to do?
The study recommends that the problem could be solved by strengthening the bunds by raising their height and width. Dr Padmakumar said that the bunds should be raised by 60 cm from their existing height.
The problem in Kollam
The islets in Kollam are sinking as sufficient quantities of sedimental soil are not accumulating in the lake. It was also found that after the flow of water lessened in the Kalladayar river, the salt content in the water near the islet has been increasing.