Malappally: Manimala River that winds through south and central Kerala is now a pale shadow of its former self. The 92-km long river which was once a lifeline for many is today choking with garbage at several spots.
The river, known as Manimalayar, is gradually turning into a drain with sacks of waste being thrown in and silt getting deposited in heaps. Both biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste have turned its several stretches filthy.
The amount of garbage that is being dumped is rising at an alarming rate. Though the plastic ban is on, more plastic is getting dumped into the water body despite this eco-friendly move. Leftovers of fish and meat are also thrown into the river.
People, who regularly bathe in the river, are now wary of skin ailments.
Receding, plunging water
With the summer approaching, the water in the river has dropped drastically. The water has been remaining stagnant near the pump house well at Mallappally in Pathanamthitta district for months now. Garbage has been found getting accumulated here.
Sand deposits too are hindering the water flow at several spots in the river course.
There seems to be little concrete efforts to protect the river from the garbage menace. Though several coordinated steps were made to protect the river over the years, there seems to be no respite in sight. The river, which is about 150-metre wide, is only flowing on one side. Pointing to gradual death, trees have started to grow on the riverbed and cattle could be found grazing.
Though there have been demands for a special project to rescue the river, no move has been made in this direction so far.