In bird season, miscreants flock inside Okhla sanctuary | india | Hindustan Times
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In bird season, miscreants flock inside Okhla sanctuary

Migratory birds flock to the park at this time of the year but birders say they are scared to visit, as it has also become a hangout zone for anti-social elements, reports Kapil Datta.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2008 23:46 IST
Kapil Datta

Bird watchers, it seems, are not the only people the Okhla Bird Park has been attracting of late. Migratory birds flock to the park at this time of the year but birders say they are scared to visit, as it has also become a hangout zone for anti-social elements.

Regular birders say the park, near Kalindi Kunj Yamuna Bridge, has become an open bar where elements freely consume liquor. There have also been reported incidents of snatchings and car thefts. Following complaints, the Noida Police has intensified patrolling in the area.

"I have been visiting Okhla Bird Park and feel people coming here are becoming hostile now," said a visitor. Another said the area was not safe for women.

Earlier, a woman guest had reported being robbed of her gold chain and purse in the park.

But despite several such incidents, Park management expressed helplessness controlling the situation. "Due to staff shortage, it is not possible for us to keep a watch over the park that is spread over 3 kilometres," said Deputy Ranger KL Sharma.

The manpower crunch also means the guards work only from 7 am to 7 pm "Before and after this time we have little control over the area," said Sharma.

Sharma admitted there had been reported thefts of vehicle and cash and that the desolate park attracts unfavourable elements who consume liquor inside their cars. "In fact, guards are helpless in checking the activity even during day," he said.

The park attracts most visitors between October and February when migratory birds flock in.

"An additional patrol car has been given to Okhla Barrage police chowki to patrol the area ," said Superintendent of Police (City) AK Tripathi.

Ranger JM Banerjee told HT, “Miscreants enter through a 750-meter stretch along the DND Flyover. We are planning to have more guards and patrolling vehicles in the area.”