KOZHIKODE: With the goal of reviving the dying rivers, the district panchayat is working towards an ambitious project titled 'Puzha Yathra' (journey along river banks) which will identify the real cause of the decline in water bodies and find a lasting solution to it. The campaign is a joint initiative of the local bodies and socio-cultural organisations.
District panchayat president Babu Parassery said that the Puzha Yathra is a comprehensive action plan to rejuvenate the dying rivers in the district. "It is to be executed in a phased manner with the support of other local bodies, socio-cultural organisations and the local public. As the first step, we will be identifying all factors which are harming the water bodies. Then, action will be taken address these issues," said the president.
In the preliminary phase, two rivers -- Mampuzha and Poonoor river -- have been picked. Later, two more rivers, namely Kuttiady river and Ramanpuzha, will be included in the scheme.
As part of the project, a team led by district panchayat members has already travelled along the banks of Mampuzha and Poonoor rivers to study the status of the water bodies. Based on their findings, the district panchayat has prepared a master plan of Rs 1.75 crore to restore the rivers with the financial support of other local bodies in the region through which the river passes.
"We found that one of the major issues is the waste dumping in the rivers which has resulted in the natural flow of the river to stop. We will be removing the waste in these rivers to restore the natural flow. Secondly, a mass campaign to create awareness among the local people on the need to protect water bodies will be conducted," Babu said.
"In addition, a people's committee will also be formed for further preservation of the rivers and to ensure that the rivers are free from waste dumping. It has also been planned to protect river walls by planting saplings along its banks," he added.
"The district panchayat has mooted it as a pilot project. Once the project proves to be a success, more rivers will be included in the project in the future," Babu said.