Noida to get a bird sanctuary (Feature)

July 9th, 2008 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

By S.P. Singh
Noida, July 9 (IANS) Many rare birds, such as the animated Yellow Wagtail or the flamboyant Black-necked Stork, would soon come calling home here, with government planning to build a sanctuary for these winged visitors. The state forest department has identified a 330-hectare area in the Greater Noida region to develop it into a prime bird habitat, with water bodies and roosting trees that will be home to different bird species.

The state government has already given its consent to build the Greater Noida Bird Sanctuary, adjacent to a reserve forest. The project is also expected to boost eco-tourism.

Nature lovers from across the country would now get another opportunity to watch this spectacular show of birds of different size, shape and colour, in their natural surroundings.

The sanctuary would be built in the Surajpur area on the outskirts of the city, at a cost of Rs.56.4 million. The forest department is expected to complete the project by 2010.

“The site is being closely monitored and the work on the project would begin soon. Currently, a study is being conducted, mainly in the jheel (lake) area,” district forest officer N.P. Singh said, adding that the final drawings from the architect are awaited.

“The area is rich in biodiversity and has pythons, snakes, nilgai (antelope), jackals, besides many species of amphibians and plant species. The Greater Noida Authority has expressed keen interest in the project,” he said.

A lake covering 108 hectares in the site would be cleaned and plantation work would be carried out, he said.

“The sanctuary would provide safe home to migratory as well as local birds. We also plan to take up various eco-developmental activities there,” Singh told IANS in an interview.

Many rare and migratory birds such as the Little Egret, Night Heron, Indian Reef Heron, Painted Stork, Open bill Stork, White necked Stork, Black necked Stork, Comb Duck, Coot, Common Teal and Yellow Wagtail are expected to congregate at the sanctuary.

Small islands would be created on the lake to provide resting grounds for various aquatic birds. Fichus and Babool trees would be planted on the islands, Singh said.

The sanctuary is expected to attract tourists from the National capital region, besides Uttar Pradesh and other states.

To get a better view of the birds, a mound would be built in the middle of the lake. The forest department would grow various plants during monsoons that are food for birds.

The bird sanctuary would be equipped with a watchtower, communication facility, bird information centre, and pedal boats among others.

Singh said the new bird sanctuary would be free from noise, air and water pollution.

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