Kochi

Citizens’ initiative to save a dying river

Riverbank Residents Forum, a collective of people residing on both sides of the Kaniyampuzha, will clean up the canal using a weed harvester from Tuesday.

Riverbank Residents Forum, a collective of people residing on both sides of the Kaniyampuzha, will clean up the canal using a weed harvester from Tuesday.  

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Kaniyampuzha, a tributary of Periyar flowing through the heart of Kochi, is being given a new lease of life after years of neglect.

In a landmark environmental initiative, the Riverbank Residents Forum, a collective of people residing on both sides of the water body is slated to clean up the canal using a weed harvester from Tuesday. RRF aside, various residents association in and around the city and several Kochi-based entrepreneurs have also joined hands in this people-driven campaign.

The drive will cover a 4- kilometre stretch of the canal between Chungam and Thuthiyoor along Kuzhuveli and Arakkakadavu.

MA Prabhakar, RRF president, said the amount needed for renting the machine along with personnel to handle it was raised by the associations and public through contributions. “Since the weed that is pulled out of the river is a good manure, many city residents have volunteered to provide space to dump it. Those who cannot contribute financially have come forward to join the attempt to clear their side of the canal bank’’, he said.

The channel has remained chocked with hyacinth for several years and over a period of time, it has turned into an easy repository for raw sewage and breeding ground for mosquitoes. The rising level of pollution has blackened its water, posing serous risk to river’s aquatic life.

For the last couple of years, people residing on the banks of Kaniyampuzha have been trying to clean up the canal, which is chocked with the verdant and ever-expanding water hyacinth, with the help of youth volunteers. The efforts, however, proved futile as the weed has almost filled water-body.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2019 7:09:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/citizens-initiative-to-save-a-dying-river/article7808212.ece

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