Uttan is a silent village in Thane district of Maharashtra. It is very close to my place and I regularly visit or pass through there on my bike or during my cycle rides to Gorai Beach.
Mira Road, Bhayandar and Uttan have a decent number of salt pans spread out across the region. Salt production involves two kinds of lan, one which stores water and is little deep, while the other one is shallow pan where salty seawater is let to dry and expose the salt.
Water holding farms are divided or partitioned with high bunds of around 3 to 4 feet. These bunds are constructed using mud and clay and they are trapezoidal in shape, having a wider base and narrower top. Tidal water from the creek is allowed in and channelled here.
Wooden sluice built on these bunds connects the water holding farms. Sluices are very simple structure but at the same time quite effective. This sluice blocks or allows the tidal water to flow from one farm. With the help of bunds and sluices, decent water level can be maintained.
A wooden plank on the sluice was placed towards the high waterside. The plank is slid and wooden bracket at the two end holds it.
Lifting this wooden plank would allow the water from high-level farm to move to the other side. On closer look too there seemed to be no water seepage, I believe some mud must have been plastered around the plank to prevent this.
This simple water structure can we seen across this region and it is not only easy to construct, maintain and operate but also cheaper than modern alternatives.