Around 100 environmentalists and students from across the State took part in a nature walk through the Chalippuzha in Kodenchery grama panchayat on Sunday, to create awareness about the condition of the river.
The ‘Puzha Nadatham’ was organised under the aegis of the Kerala Nadi Samrakshana Samiti in the wake of the destruction caused to the river in the name of disaster management recently. The participants were unanimous in their view that the river was in a sad state, and that it needed to be protected to restore its natural flow.
The immediate trigger for the nature walk was the action taken by the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), removing big boulders from the river and converting it into a plain ground for around 3 km. The reason cited was the floods of 2018 and 2019 after the boulders and floating tree trunks created a dam effect in the river.
The Samiti had intervened to stop further destruction of the river with the help of local residents. “It is now impossible to put the river back to its natural state now,” T.V. Rajan, State general secretary of the Samiti, had said.
District Collector Seeram Sambasiva Rao had claimed ignorance of the destruction of the river, when the Samiti members visited him recently. He had said that the DDMA had only sanctioned funds, while it was the Department of Irrigation that carried out the work, without any scientific studies.
Koduvally block panchayat president Thomas Kulathoor, who was part of the Puzha Nadatham, said the panchayat would make efforts to “regrow” vegetation on both banks of the river.