A group of environmental and social activists has brought to the limelight a river that is left to die, in an attempt to highlight the urgency for its revival.

Kakkad river, a tributary of the Valapattanam river, is facing a threat from largescale dumping of waste, especially waste from slaughter houses. It is now just a shadow of what it was decades ago, according to green activists here. Increasing encroachment has also accelerated the near demise of the river, they say. Though environmental organisations in the district have taken up the demand for reviving and protecting the river, it continues to be largely treated as a garbage dump.

The environmental and social activists who belong to different organisations here came together on the Republic Day to once again draw the public's attention to the condition of the Kakkad river which now is largely stagnant. They staged fasting on the river bank to highlight their demands that included steps to restore the natural flow of the river.

“The Kakkad was once a rich river that is now almost dead as it has been used for dumping waste over the years,” said K.V. Unnikrishnan Namboodiri of Greensga, an environmental organisation involved in the initiative to highlight the condition of the river.

The river was now stagnant because of the largescale dumping of waste, he said.

The natural flow could be restored if the river was cleaned, the environmental activists said, urging the authorities to urgently take steps to clear it of accumulated waste. Action should also be taken against the encroachments, they demanded.

The campaign was organised by the Kakkad Puzha Samrakshana Samiti, Paristhithi Samoohya Aikyadhardya Samiti, Humanist Movement, Kerala Pattika Jathi-Pattika Varga Aikya Vedi, Nattarivu and Greensga.

Among those who participated in the day-long campaign were C.K. Assainar, Pallipram Prasannan, Prabhakaran Narath, K. Kunhumuhammad and Ramachandran Kattakkulam.

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