Green activist Sitaraman dead

He fought for the protection of rivers and created green jungles

Updated - December 09, 2020 05:48 pm IST

Published - December 09, 2020 05:46 pm IST - KOCHI

Noted environmentalist S. Sitaraman, who fought for the protection of rivers and created green jungles to check climate change, died here on Wednesday.

He was 74. Prof. Sitaraman, who had collapsed at his home in Aluva around 12 noon, is survived by his wife Parvathy, sons Harikrishnan and Jayakrishnan. The cremation will be decided after consulting his children who are abroad, according to family members.

A teacher by profession, Prof. Sitaraman was the face of the people's movements in Ernakulam against the indiscriminate human interference on natural resources and its rampant exploitation for commercial interests. Founder of the All-Kerala River Protection Council, he was the Principal Investigator of the ambitious Periyar Action Plan (1977) that envisaged stringent measures against encroachment, pollution and indiscriminate sand mining in the river.

Prof. Sitaraman, who retired as Professor of the Department of Chemistry in Sree Sankara College at Kalady, will be remembered by green lovers for his relentless efforts to increase the green cover across various regions. They would always recall his daily journeys on his two-wheeler with cans of water to tend to the numerous that he had planted in Aluva and nearby areas.

The Harithavanam (mini forest) near the Aluva Sivarathri manaluram on the banks of the Periyar River was an outcome of his constant struggle.

He was the petitioner in the landmark judgement by the Supreme Court that ordered the demolition of the Tourism Department's Rainbow restaurant on the banks of the Periyar in 2014 for violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone norms.

Prof. Sitaraman also took the lead to form the National Green Corps encouraging school children to turn into green warriors.

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