An action plan for protection of Iruvazhinjipuzha is being launched jointly by six panchayats to prevent its pollution that has reached alarming proportions.

Originating in Vellarimala in the Western Ghats, the 30-km-long Iruvazhinjipuzha that flows through Thiruvambady, Kodencherry, Mukkom, Karassery, Chathamangalam, and Kodiyathur grama panchayats before emptying into the Chaliyar River was the source of water for drinking and irrigation until massive pollution made people suspicious about the quality of its water.

Its fish population is also rapidly declining.

Alarmed at the deteriorating condition of the river, an action plan for its protection was prepared at a meeting held recently in Mukkom. Representatives of Kodencherry, Thiruvambady, Mukkom, Karassery, and Kodiyathur panchayats promised to join in the action to save the river.

M.I. Shanawaz, MP, and C. Moineenkutty, MLA, who spoke at the meeting, promised full support.

Monitoring the plan

The Iruvazhinjipuzha protection plan would be monitored by committees to be set up in these six grama panchayats.

These would consist of representatives of all political parties and social and cultural agencies.

Special meetings of grama sabhas of 22 wards situated on the banks of the rivers would be convened to carry out awareness programmes. Police and health departments would keep an eye on the river to prevent dumping of waste.

The services of Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) would be sought to monitor the quality of water.

The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is being requested to restrict or ban if necessary entry of tourists to the region during summer in view of reports that tourists are polluting the river.

Contractors who bring in labourers from other States are being asked to arrange toilet facilities to prevent pollution of the river.

It was also decided at the meeting to tighten the vigil against illegal sand mining from the river, a spokesman for the action committee said on Tuesday.