Kerala

17.5 acres on Killi banks reclaimed

The movement to save the Killi River which successfully cleaned up and revived 22 kms of the shrunken, waste-filled river has marked another success in its latest phase with the reclaiming of 17.5 acres of land on either side of the river, which have been occupied by private parties for decades.

The reclamation work led by the Nedumangad block panchayat was carried out over the initial 22-km stretch of the river beginning from Karinchathimoola, the origin of the river in Panavoor panchayat, till Vazhayila bridge.

“Once the clean-up activities on the stretch were completed, we started measuring the land on either side of the river nine months ago. Some of these land have been in private hands for the past few decades. Initially, there was some resistance to the whole process, but later most of them agreed as they had seen the positives of the mission, after the river cleanup. All the panchayats managed to get back the surveyed land without any dispute,” says Nedumangad block panchayat president B. Biju. The survey team went to the individual owners, looked at their sketches, measured the land and reclaimed the remaining land, adjacent to the river by laying stones. Most of the reclaiming has been done in the Nedumangad municipality, which reclaimed 10 acres and Karakulam panchayat, which reclaimed 7 acres.

Clean-up drive

The movement to revive the Killi river began in April 2018, with ‘Killiyar Oruma,’ a mass clean-up drive along the entire 22 km stretch.

In addition to the regular sanitation workers and volunteers, the cleanup drive witnessed major participation of the public living on either side of the river banks. Even the 31 canals and over 50 rivulets which flow into the river along this stretch were also cleaned during the drive. The programme was part of the larger Killiyar Mission, which the Haritha Kerala Mission is carrying out with the local bodies in the area.

As many as 1,200 waste outlets from houses and institutions on either side of the river were sealed following the cleanup drive, thus reducing the waste outflow into the river considerably. According to Mr.Biju, the Ground Water Department’s tests in February this year have shown a drastic reduction in bacteria content in the water.

“Now people have again begun taking bath in the river, since it is now visibly clean, unlike the blackish water some years ago. Now, the block panchayat has submitted an 8.75 crore project for fencing, check-dam and parks on the river banks,” says Mr.Biju.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 7:41:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/175-acres-on-killi-banks-reclaimed/article31940518.ece

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