When was the hut standing tall in the midst of Athirappilly falls, was made and who built it
Social Media and Reality
The other day I read the Facebook post by my friend Ananthanarayana Sharma which in fact is a forward posted by another Facebook user OLD BOMBY.
I decided to write to Krishnan who does not have a Facebook account.
Krishnan worked with NDDB in 1970s. After retirement from his last job at RBI he is settled and lives on his ancestral plantation near Cochin. He is connected with NGOs in the area concerned with human and environmental issues in Athirapilly area.
Thank you. Though I started to hear this story about a month back, this is the first time that I am reading about this in some detail.
Sadly, this is totally untrue.
In fact, to get the truth, I just talked to Sivanunny an Athirappilly based tribal who was one among the five people who was engaged in the construction of the structure.
Another person named Shaju who was also involved in the work is also personally known to me.
When I visited the place for the first time in 1996,this structure did not exist at all.
After I settled in Kerala in 2000, I started visiting Athirappilly at least twice a week in connection with the anti- dam agitation.
Even in 2001,this structure was non existent. It was constructed only in 2002, by a group of 5 employees of the newly formed Vana Samrakshana Samithi(VSS) as instructed by the then DFO, Induchoodan!
The shed was basically meant to protect the two watchmen from the sun during the day.
The watcher’s presence became necessary to prevent the drunk Mallus from entering the water and get drowned. Good quality teak obtained from the local forest was placed into the cracks among the rock and fixed with concrete. It lasted till 2018 when a group of wild elephants destroyed the shead.
Hence what is visible today is the renovated structure.The material obtained from the forest lasts only for about 2 years and gets replaced.The small shead at the Falls is very much a media celebrity in Kerala.
However, the locals continue to have a hearty laugh every time they read or hear about the English Man and his wife! Incidentally, tourists started visiting the Athirappilly falls only in the 1950’s when a pucca road road through the forest came up to facilitate the construction of 2 upstream dams.