Sunday, March 10, 2013

khazan Lands of Goa

The khazans are saline floodplains along Goa’s tidal estuaries which have been reclaimed over centuries by constructing an intricate system of bunds and sluice gates. Cooperatives known as gaunkaris, and later also as comunidades, engineered an intricate system of bunds and sluices. Local knowledge of the tidal clock and principles of salinity regulation played a key role in the maintenance of the khazan infrastructure. This way over years land has slowly been reclaimed from the sea and used for multiple purposes such as for prawn fisheries , salt pans and even to grow stuff.

The local farming community traditionally practices rice cultivation by growing salt–tolerant species during monsoon in conjunction with shrimp aquaculture during off seasons. These lands serve as emergency storm water receptacles and thus play a major role in preventing floods. The mangrove vegetation near the external or internal bunds provides the most important natural anti-erosive barrier.