The Keoladeo National Park, that houses the world-famous Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan, may lose its world heritage status owning to falling water levels and disappearing migratory birds.
“I am afraid that the present situation may lead to Keoladeo National Park being put on the danger list of Unesco’s World Heritage Site, which may possibly lead to the withdrawal of the World Heritage Site status itself”, Tourism Minister Ambika Soni said in a letter to the Rajasthan Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje.
Several members of Parliament and environmentalists had expressed concern over shortage of water in the park leading to a fall in number of migratory birds arriving this winter. They had also pointed out that many of the local birds have also started avoiding the park because it has become nearly arid.
Fayaz Khudsar, an environmentalist, said there is not enough water to sustain wildlife in the park.
In two years’ time, the park will turn into a woodland with marshy area getting converted into arid zone with growth of ‘vilayati kikar’,” he said.
The tourism minister has asked the Rajasthan chief minister to intervene personally to ensure that effective steps are taken to revive the park.
“The continued status of Keoladeo National Park as a World Heritage Site is an important issue for which action will be required from all concerned agencies,” she said.