- Salt water invasion into the river has thrown farmers into a deep crisis
- Lower reaches of the river is already filled with salt water
- It could kill rice and banana crops in acres of agricultural land along the banks of river
As summer tightens its grip, people of Kerala is facing yet another threat, salt water invasion which proves fatal for farmers living on the banks of rivers in the state. Farmers on the banks of Muvattupuzha river has turned into a most unusual farming routine, to purchase water and keep their crops alive.
The invasion has thrown farmers into a deep crisis and they are purchasing a load of water for ₹3, 500 and are transporting it upstream for over 15 kms in their boats.
Even during peak summer this perennial river used to brim to its banks with fresh water. But this year salt water seeped into the river owing to failed monsoon and drop in water released from Idukki dam.
Farmers say that purchasing fresh water for farming is very costly and the agriculture is moving towards loses. However, Saji, who is transporting water on his boat, for farmers also says the trade is moving towards losses.
The lower reaches of the river up to Vettikattumukku bridge is already filled with salt water. Farmers are afraid that upper region too will become saline if the situation is not resolved soon. It could kill acres of crops along the bank in Chembu, Vellur, Maravanthuruthu and Thalayolaparambu panchayats. Major crops in the area are rice and banana.
Even the well water in the area has turned saline and if rains won't grace this time people will have to travel 21 km to Piravom to fulfil their basic water needs. The sand bund constructed across the river to stop saline invasion was destroyed by flood waters and no measures were adopted to reconstruct it or to prevent saltwater from seeping in, they complained.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:44 PM