Kerala

Together, to save lifelines of Kottayam

The Meenachil-Meenanthara-Kodoor River Restoration movement, which has regenerated hundreds of kilometres of rivulets of the riverine system and brought more than thousand hectares of fallow paddy land under cultivation, will take its next step next month — a people’s survey on pollution of waterbodies in the district.

According to Anil Kumar, coordinator of the project, the survey is being taken up as a pilot project and pollution at the sources of the three rivers will be identified and cleansed through people’s involvement.

“The experience will be analysed for a Statewide endeavour in the coming days,” he said.

On May 12, thousands of people will march towards the nearest point of these rivers and other waterbodies and detail the pollution of the rivers, identify the sources of pollution, if need be, and make the basic cleansing of the waterbodies. Cleaning of at least one waterbody in each grama panchayat will be carried out on the day.

The action plan will be finalised locally. Necessary implements and canoes and boats will be arranged locally. Participation of people’s representatives, government officials, the Janamaithri police, residents’ associations, political parties, and leaders of social, religious, youth and women’s organisations would be ensured, he said.

On May 2, complaint boxes will be placed in all grama panchayats at the ward level.

One of the key targets of the survey would be municipal drainages, Mr. Anil Kumar said. “The drainages are being used as private property by individuals and commercial interests and are used to push in all types of waste materials. Authorities of the four municipalities concerned have been informed of the issue and focus will be on identifying the misuse of municipal drainages,” he added.

The final report of the survey will be submitted to the respective local bodies by May 18. After vetting the report, the panchayats concerned will publish the reports by May 20 and hand them over for further action by the Department of Health. Even as the organisers are taking forward the movement in bringing back the riverine way of life, a series of harvest festivals are on the anvil at the paddy lands which have been brought under cultivation as part of the endeavour. “It gives us hope and confidence that the journey we have taken up is in the right direction,” Mr. Anil Kumar said.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 3:24:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/together-to-save-lifelines-of-kottayam/article23674667.ece

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