The Kerala Nadi Samrakshana Samiti (All Kerala River Protection Committee) is organising a nature walk along Chalipuzha in the district on January 30 to highlight the threat faced by the river owing to disaster management activities.
It was barely a week ago that members of the Samiti paid a visit to Kodenchery where people from three wards along the the river had protested against the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for converting the river into a canal by demolishing boulders and levelling the bottom of the river. The action was reportedly taken by the DDMA to avert disasters like the floods of 2018 and 2019, when huge boulders and trees were washed away, causing a dam effect around an irrigation bund on the river, thus flooding the neighbourhood.
However, locals claimed that the move had disrupted the natural flow of the river and damaged its suitability to host Kayaking championships in the future. People from nearby tribal colonies also complained that crabs and fish had disappeared, and that they could not bathe in the river any more, as the little pools among boulders where they used to bathe have disappeared as well.
It is necessary that people get to know of this disaster. The nature walk will help us understand the river, its boulders, small crystal-like rocks, clear pools, and rapids. It will create awareness about the destruction of the river, said T.V. Rajan, State general secretary of the Samiti.
Meanwhile, a group of around 30 environmentalists from across the State will visit the river by the end of the month to assess the damage caused. The Samiti also plans to meet District Collector Seeram Sambasiva Rao on January 25 to discuss the matter.
Those interested in participating in the nature walk shall contact 94973-07319 / 75599-73021 for registration, before January 28.