Rajasthan to protect land near Keoladeo National Park

May 29th, 2011 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatpur, May 29 (IANS) The Rajasthan government plans to declare a half-a-kilometre area surrounding the famous Keoladeo National Park, also known as Ghana or Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, as an eco-sensitive zone.

Hotels, marriage gardens and other commercial establishments which have come up in the surrounding area in large numbers due to heavy influx of tourists will have to follow the regulations as per the norms, an official said Sunday.

“We have sent a proposal to the union ministry of environment and forests in this regard. We have requested that the 500 metre area surrounding Keoladeo National Park be declared as eco-sensitive zone,” a senior official of the state forest department told IANS.

Once approved, unapproved constructions in the area will be prohibited and steps to curb pollution-causing activities will be taken, he added.

People with agriculture land in the specified area will also have to get permission to build residential buildings.

Commercial establishments will have to set up water harvesting and sewerage treatment plants. Usage of fresh water for sanitation and gardening will be prohibited, said the official.

The sanctuary is spread over an area of 28.72 sq km with lake and wetland.

It was created by the late maharaja of Bharatpur in the 19th century. The area was designated as Keoladeo Ghana Sanctuary in 1965 and was upgraded into a national park in 1981.

Keoladeo boasts of over 380 resident and migrant bird species.

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