The network of the canal system in Kerala having total length about 1700 km. The main arterial Waterway in the state of Kerala is the West Coast Canal. The West Coast Canal (WCC) connects Kovalam at South to the Bakel at North and its total length is 616 km. The West Coast canal runs almost parallel to the west coast which was formed by constructing series of artificial canals connecting back waters and rivers. Besides that many feeder canals were also formed for connecting commercial and tourism destinations to WCC. Out of the total length of 616 km, three portions between Mahe and Valapattanam having total length of 26 km are uncut portions. Further extension for 26 km from Neeleswaram to Bekal in Kasargod is also under consideration. Portion of the West coast canal from Kollam to Kottappuram ( 168 km ) was declared as National waterway-III. Portion of WCC from Kottappuram to Kozhikkode (160 km ) and six feeder canals were also declared as national waterways. WCC can broadly be divided into five sections namely (1)Kovalam- Kollam (74.18 km), (2) Kollam- Kottappuram (Kodungallur) (168 km) , (3) Kottappuram- Kozhikkode (160) , (4) Kozhikkode-Neeleswaram (187.82 km) and (5) Neleswaram –Bekal ( 26 km ) respectively. Entire navigation canal system in Kerala is perennial and can be developed as Smart Waterways.
1.1 Present Scenario of WCC
National waterway-III between Kollam and Kottappuram and the feeder canals of Champakkara and Udyogmandal were developed in Class-3 standard of IWAI and barge services are operating in these canals. Passenger boat service is provided in Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kannur and Kasargod districts by State Water Transport Department. Besides that various type of boats including houseboats, shikkar boats, speed boats, etc are plying in these canals and back waters for tourism. Jhankar service is provided at needed places. Systematic development of potential waterways in class -3 standard is essential to achieve the goals in water transport sector including modal shift of cargo transportation and tourism development. At present top priority is given to develop WCC by 2025 and the present status of various reaches are listed below.
|Reach of canal||NW/KSW||Chainage||Length
|1||Kovalam –Akkulam||KSW||0-16.05km||16.05||Works taken up by KWIL.Desilting work started at Vallakkadavu Akkulam stretch.|
|2||Akkulam-Kollam||KSW||16.05-74.18KM||58.13||49 km is navigable|
|3||Kollam –Kottappuram||NW||74.18 – 242.18||168||Navigable|
|4||Kottappuram- Kozhikkode||NW||242.18- 402.18||160||150km is Navigable|
|5||Kozhikkode Town portion
( Canoly Canal)
|KSW||402.18-412.00||9.82||Not Navigable due to bridges having low vertical clearance.|
|KSW||450.08-467.69||17.61||Work in progress. 11 km portion is navigable|
(26 km uncut portion & 32.20 km river portion)
|10||Neeleswaram-Bekal Uncut portion||KSW||590-616 km||26||Under investigation.10 km portion is navigable.|
The main aim is to develop the waterways in the state as smart ways by the end of 2025 and systematic and speedy developmental activities are being planned, taken up and executed in various reaches of west coast canal for achieving this goal.
To mitigate the agrarian distress in Alappuzha and Kuttanad Wet Land Eco System the Union Government entrusted Dr. M.S. Swaminathan Foundation Chennai to conduct a scientific study of the region and the MSSR foundation recommended a total cost of 1840Cr, out of which, the following are the works taken up by the Irrigation Department for a total cost of 1517 Cr, under Kuttanad Package. Flood Managemet works (FMP) such as strengthening, raising of outer bunds of padasekharams and allied works such as construction of motorthara/ shed, sluice, pipe/ box culvert etc. are implemented through various schemes under Kuttanad Package. Works such as Modernization of Thanneermukkom bund, Renovation of Thottappally spillway etc. are also implemented for flood control as well as to mitigate salt water intrusion in Kuttanad area.
|Sl.No.||Name of *FMP Work||No.of Works undertaken||Amount Utilized (Cr) upto 31.07.2020||Benefits||Remarks|
|Projected length in km||Area Benefited (Ha)||No.of Structures|
|Motorthara/Motorshed||Box cultvert/pipe culvert (Nos)||Sluices|
|1||KEL -1: FMP -Mitigation of flood in group -1,14 padasekharams of Nedumudy
|39.94||574.83||37||11||8||Works completed on 31.03.2016|
|2||KEL -2 : FMP – Regulation of Flood water in Kayal area – 4 padasekharams and Mitigation of Flood in Group -9 -5 padasekharams in Kuttanad region of Kerala.||9||126.03||65.24||3262.91||94||-||14||Works completed on 30.09. 2016|
|3||KEL -3 : FMP- Mitigation of flood in Kuttanad region- Phase -1 (Group 2 -5,7 –8, 10 -19), 231 padasekharams in Kottayam, Alappuzha Districts.||57||88.69||128.64||2818||61||36||68||Works completed on 31.12.2020|
|4||KEL -4: Mitigation of flood in Onattukara region comprising of 12 Watersheds in
|21||58.96||33.20||5834||1||11||-||17 foot bridges, 27 ramp with kadavu also completed.|
|5||Mitigation of flood in 397 padasekharams of Kuttanad Taluk and 14 padasekharams of Veeyapuram panchyath||54||158.41||177.64||3871.75||166||24||29||Works completed on 31.12.2020|
|6||Modernization of Thanneermukkom barrage||199.85||-||-||-||-||-||95% of work is completed (Construction of bridge and lock)|
|7||Improving the efficiency of Thottappally spillway||8.25||-||-||-||-||-||Replacement of 40 shutters and dredging works were completed|
|8||Works arranged using 13th FC Award||39.08||-||-||-||-||-||Modernization of regulators and construction of AC canal from Manakkalchira to Onnamkara|
Kuttanad Package – 2nd phase
During the flood of 2018 which was a one in hundred year phenomenon, Kuttanad area was acutely affected. The flood has submerged the entire region and forced large number of families to leave their homes. The flood water breached bunds across the region and flooded houses and destroyed paddy cultivation. Due to heavy rainfall and breaching of bunds, more than 50,000 houses in Kuttanad were drowned or partly drowned. Paddy crop cultivated in about 15000 Ha was destroyed. Almost the entire paddy area sown was lost due to the floods. Kuttanad area was acutely affected during the flood of 2019 also. Consequent to torrential floods, decision was taken by the Hon’ble Chief Minister for the implementation of 2nd phase of Kuttanad Package.
|Sl.No.||Budget Works||Amount (Cr)||No.of Works||Works completed||Remarks|
|1||2019-20 - Plan Scheme||32.00||19||3||19 works includes 1 electrical and 1 mechanical works of Thottappally Spillway|
|2||2020-21- Plan Scheme||17.4||34||Nil||Outer bund protection of 34 padasekharams. Agreement executed for 27 works.|
|3||NABARD-RIDF||29.10||7||Nil||The DPR for the works have submitted to NABARD from Government vide letter No. 138764/NC-A1/65/2020-Fin dated 30.07.2020 and sanction is accorded for the same.|