The conservation of the Bharathapuzha will be possible only with the participation of the local people, District Collector M.S. Jaya has said.
Addressing a workshop on protection of the Bharathapuzha organised at the Kerala Institute of Local Administration at Mulangunnathukavu near here on Monday, she said elected representatives and officials should support people in the mission.
“Rampant sand mining and dumping of waste have damaged the river. Rejuvenation of the river is a huge task. Three fourth of the catchment area of the river is in Kerala. It spreads across Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram districts,” she said. The Kuppam river conservation model could be successfully adopted for the Bharathapuzha as well, she added.
KILA director P.P. Balan, who presided over the function, stressed the role of local bodies in river protection. “A model project should be prepared for the purpose. KILA will prepare an action plan involving 120 gram panchayats on the banks of the Bharathapuzha. It will be implemented in a phased manner,” he said.
Eminent environmentalist Khaleel Chovva also spoke on the importance of protecting the river. Presidents, standing committee chairpersons, secretaries of local bodies in the catchment areas of the Bharathapuzha and environmentalists participated in the meeting.