Thiruvananthapuram: According to official estimates, over 25,000 people joined the mass drive to clean Killiyar held on Friday. The drive was held as part of the second phase of Killiyar Mission 'Karakavinju Killiyar', which aims for the rejuvenation of the river.

The cleaning drive was held on 22km-long stretch from Karinjathimoola to Vazhayila and also in the 31 streams flowing into the river. Ministers, MLAs and general public participated in the cleaning drive.

Finance minister T M Thomas Isaac, who inaugurated the drive at Kallampara in Nedumangad, said that the public participation for the mission makes it a successful initiative, while minister for forest K Raju, who inaugurated cleaning drive at Azhikode said the drive will be a model for similar activities in other districts.

"Government has allocated Rs 20 crore for rejuvenation of rivers and streams and from this Rs 9.5 crore will be allotted to Killiyar Mission," said minister for cooperation Kadakampally Surendran, who inaugurated the drive at Vazhayila.

At Karinjathimoola, minister for ports Kadanapally Ramachandran led the cleaning exercise, while minister for agriculture V S Sunil Kumar and D K Murali MLA led the drive at Anad panchayat.

District collector K Gopalakrishnan participated in the cleaning activity at Pazhakutty. C Divakaran MLA, mayor K Sreekumar, district panchayat president V K Madu, grama panchayat representatives, leaders of political parties, employment guarantee scheme workers, Kudumbashree members, fire and rescue service officers and students participated in the mass drive.

The Killiyar Mission committee had conducted extensive promotional programmes for the cleaning drive including conventions, wards-level rallies and street plays.

Convener of Killiyar Mission and Nedumangad block panchayat president Biju B said that over 500kg of waste was cleared from the river during the drive. "The waste removed during the previous cleaning drive was ten times more than that of the present drive. Mostly, plastic and glass bottles were removed during the drive. Such materials will be sent for recycling. In the next stage, we have planned to construct fence, garden and footpath on the banks of the river," said Biju.

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