The source of the Shalmala located here was on Tuesday given a fresh lease of life as nearly 30 volunteers participated in a cleanliness drive and removed waste that was accumulated in the river course blocking the flow of its waters.

The drive was conducted by Nature Research Centre (NRC) and Nature First Eco Village of Halligeri as part of their efforts to preserve and conserve the natural water bodies of the city.

The volunteers during the three-day drive that continued on Tuesday lifted nearly five quintals of waste generated by rituals and plastic waste that was accumulated in the channel and blocked the flow of the waters. They also cleared the canal off mud that had piled up due to roadworks.

Volunteers of the NRC, staff of the Nature First Eco Village and others participated in the drive. This is the only river having its origin here, and it joins the Bedtihalla stream.

Addressing the volunteers, WALMI director Rajendra Poddar said that attention needs to be given to preserve and conserve small rivers and rivulets. Safeguarding these minor natural water sources is as important as safeguarding major rivers such as the Ganga and the Cauvery from pollution.

Regretting the bad shape of the Shalmala river source, Mr. Poddar said that he would arrange for a workshop to find a permanent solution to this issue and see that this area is made free from pollution.

Mr. Poddar has commended the efforts of those who have taken up the task of preserving and conserving the Shalmala river source here.

NRC president P.V. Hiremath said that the Shalmala river source is one of the heritage sites of the city. However, it was a pity that such an important spot has been subjected to negligence for long.

Even rituals conducted here are causing harm to this natural water source. It is time citizens woke up and joined hands with the efforts to preserving and conserving this spot. The drive would continue on weekend days to clear the tank and surrounding areas, he said.

NRC secretary Prakash Goudar, K.H. Nayak and others spoke.

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