Thiruvananthapuram: Thousands of people led by water resources minister Mathew T. Thomas and Finance Minister Thomas Isaac walked along Killiyar river on Thursday launching a campaign aimed at the river’s revival. The walk named ‘Puzhayarivu’ was an effort to ensure people’s involvement in a larger campaign called ‘Killiyar Mission.’ An initiative of Nedumangad block panchayat, it is now supported by Haritha Keralam Mission and the state government. Mathew T. Thomas said that the government will offer technical support for the people’s initiatives and launch projects to revive the river having a total length of 22 km. To protect the 31 canals connected to it, 47 regional Killiyar missions have been established.
Killiyar meanders through Nedumangad block panchayat and Thiruvananthapuram corporation and feeds several small streams. Some of them are clogged by solid waste dumped into them. Moreover, at various points sewage outlets from households are directed to the river. A study conducted by Killiyar River Technical Committee with district planning officer as its convenor had underscored the importance of cleaning up the smaller streams as well as the main stretch of the river.
People from across political fronts, Kudumbashree members and those who live along the sides of the river participated in the walk, according to D.K. Murali MLA, chairman of Killiyar Mission. “In the second phase on April 14, efforts will be taken to clean the river. Following this the canals and streams fed by the river will be cleaned. The ones polluting the river with sewage water will be issued notices. With the support of irrigation department, geotextile boundaries will be created at various stretches. KWA, local bodies and other stakeholders will be assigned duties. Our first aim is to clean the main stretches and ensure that the river flows freely before monsoon.