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Thanneermukkam Bund

In 1968, a bund (Dam) was proposed to be built by the government of India across the river so that seawater would not be allowed to come inside Kuttanad during summer, allowing farmers to cultivate an extra crop per year. Planned in three phases, the south side, the north side and another phase to join the two sections, the project was delayed. The farmers decided to take matters into their own hands and one night in 1972, a large group of farmers filled the gap between the north and the south side with earth. To date, the mud bank between the two sections of the bund remains and it is possible to close the regulator of shutters during December–June when the saline water enters, and then open it during monsoon. Once the Thanneermukkam bund and spillway became operational two crops were possible in Kuttanad - Chambavu & Karutha Charu.

Vembanad wetland was partitioned into a fresh water lake on the south and a brackish lagoon on the north by this large mud regulator. The shutters of the regulator are shut down during highest tide, Vrischika Veliyettam, which usually occurs mid-December to prevent the entry of saline water. Till mid-March, the shutters of the regulator remain closed allowing the completion of the harvest of the Punja crop. The regulator has in fact doubled the yield during the initial years.

Thanneermukkam bund has improved the quality of life of the farmers, but it is alleged to have caused severe environmental problems. The deterioration of fish varieties which was part of the staple food of the people of the region was caused as the fish require a small amount of salt water for breeding. The fishermen opposed to the bund in 2005. The harmony of the sea with the backwaters has also been disrupted by the bund and has caused unpredicted problems like the omnipresence of the water weeds. Earlier the salt water cleansed the backwaters but this does not happen anymore leading to the pollution of the backwaters and the entire land nearby.

The Thanneermukkam regulator erected across Vembanad Lake between Thanneermukkam and Vechoor prevents the impact of tidal action and intrusion of salt water.