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5000 Conscious Citizens Joined Hands to Make a River in Kerala Clean & Trash Free

Along with the river, life on the banks especially the paddy fields dried up.

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The Kanampuzha river of Kerala is no ordinary water body. Originating from Ayyappanmala in Mundery panchayat, it flows through numerous districts before passing through Elayavur, Thazhe Chovva and Kuruva in the Kannur Corporation limits. A major water resource, the ricer has traditionally recharged groundwater across all the areas it flows through.

However, taking the Kanampuzha’s waters for granted, people began throwing their garbage into the river. The river, which fed the soil of nearby farms as well as communities living on its banks, became a dumping yard over the last few years. When the river’s mouth silted up breaking its flow into the sea, it seemed the slow demise had truly begun. Along with the river, life on the banks especially the paddy fields dried up.

In recent days however, the river has undergone a favourable makeover thanks to local initiative, in response to a call by the state government.


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In December 2016, the Kerala government initiated Haritha Keralam (Green Kerala) Mission, a programme to clean the state and protect its water bodies and soil. The Mission envisages a clean and green state through waste management, organic farming and conservation of water resources with people’s support.

On the state government’s call to support the enterprise, 5000 people came forward to clean the Kanampuzha river, reports Times of India.

Photo for representation purpose only – Source

The cleaning was undertaken along a 10 km stretch, from Chelora to Marakkarkandi in Kannur Corporation, and plastic and other wastes were removed. The committee set up for the purpose, also decided to devote one day in a month to maintain the cleanliness of the river and suggested that they would take measures to prevent waste dumping into the river.

A citizen-driven initiative, Haritha Keralam Mission brings the administration and local communities today in a variety of development initiatives, from reclaiming lands for agriculture to waste segregation and recycling in panchayats and municipalities.

Water conservation has been a primary agenda for the Mission, and the undertaking at Kanampuzha river is yet another step towards a sustainable future.


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Written by Manabi Katoch

A Mechanical Engineer-turned-writer, Manabi finds solace in writing stories about unsung heroes. Nothing makes her happier than the impact emails from her readers. Other than writing, she loves listening to the stories told by her six year old daughter. Manabi can be reached at manabi@thebetterindia.com. You can also find her tweets @manabi5