Two bird sanctuaries in Gautam Budha Nagar district are all set to get a makeover in the New Year.
The Okhla Bird Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Noida will, this year, become a true green picnic destination. The Noida authority has approved a draft proposal prepared by the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun. The state government has also allocated R60 crore for the development of Surajpur Wetland and Bio-diversity Park in Greater Noida.
Divisional forest officer B Prabhakar told Hindustan Times, “The Noida authority will first clean the park to make room for new plantation. It will build two watch towers. An interpretation centre will be set up to educate and inform visitors about the birds. The project estimated to cost R15 crore will be completed by March.”
Visitors will also be able to have a cup of coffee and snacks at the sanctuary. A food corner is being developed under the new management plan. Besides, introduction of battery powered vehicles inside the campus will reduce pollution.
A designated bird sanctuary, the Okhla bird park is spread over 3.5 sqkm area. It was notified by the state government as a bird sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 in 1990.
The government has also started work on development of the Surajpur park. “The Greater Noida Industrial Development
Authority has started work on the project. It will be Uttar Pradesh’s 13th bird sanctuary to be developed on 330 hectares of forest land near Surajpur,” said Prabhakar.
The authority is working on putting in place green belts. The park has more than 11 lakh trees and 50,000 smaller plants and shrubs.
Of the total area of the park, developed along the Surajpur lake, more than 100 hectares account for wetlands. About a dozen new lakes are being developed. The state government has signed an agreement with various central and international agencies to develop 330 hectares of area into a bird sanctuary. The area was already home to wild animals and birds.