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Action plan for Bharathapuzha sought

By Our Staff Reporter

PALAKKAD, MAY 1. The Bharathapuzha Samrakshana Samiti, which has launched a mass awareness campaign from Walayar to Ponnani, has urged the Central and State Governments to jointly take up an action plan to save the Bharathapuzha on the lines of the Save Ganga Action Plan.

The Samiti general secretary, Indanur Gopi, said here today that the Members of Parliament from Palakkad, Ottappalam, Thrissur and Ponnani had to take up the revival of the river system with the Central Government. There are 21 MLAs representing constituencies lying on the banks of the river, but they have failed to take any concrete steps to save it.

He said that as many as 270 schemes providing drinking water to Palakkad, Thrissur and Malappuram districts depended on the Bharathapuzha for their water source.

He said that since Bharathapuzha was an inter-State river, any dispute over sharing its water between Kerala and Tamil Nadu should be solved. Since Kerala did not get its due share of water from the inter-State Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (PAP), the river got dried up in the severe summer. The water coming to the Bharathapuzha is diverted by constructing half a dozen

dams under the PAP agreement. When the PAP agreement was signed in 1958, it had no provision to ensure minimum flow of water into the Bharathapuzha. This has proved to be disastrous for the river.

The secretary of the Samiti, P.S. Panicker, who led the awareness campaign, said political parties had not taken the drying up of Bharathapuzha seriously. Some of them even encouraged indiscriminate mining of sand in the river and encroachment of the riverbanks and its pollution. Though they raise the issue of the protection of Bharathapuzha during elections, they forget to take any concrete steps after the polls.

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