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Respite from noise for birds

Scores of Delhiites ventured out to enjoy a pleasant sunny Sunday as temperature during the day hovered above normal mercury levels after a misty morning.
Hindustan Times | By Abhishek Sharan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2011 12:29 AM IST

Noida's Okhla Bird Park and Wildlife Sanctuary's avian residents may soon get respite from the constant drone of visitors' vehicles.

They would instead get noiseless, battery-powered vehicles with zero pollution.

The idea behind the proposed introduction of battery-powered vehicles, like a golf cart/buggy, is to reduce noise and air pollution at the protected bird facility and encourage the arrival of migratory birds.

"As part of the Okhla Bird Park's management plan, we plan to introduce battery-powered vehicles, like a golf cart, to transport visitors inside its campus," BK Patnaik, chief wildlife warden, Uttar Pradesh, told Hindustan Times.

Currently, visitors are allowed to travel across the facility's campus — spread over four square km — in their motorised vehicles.

Once Park authorities introduce the battery-powered vehicles, which can easily accommodate two persons, visitors would have to keep their vehicles outside the facility, said Patnaik.

"Noise and air pollution are elements that birds do not

like, they are a source of irritation for them. The battery-powered vehicles would hopefully work to address the problem," said Patnaik.

He added that these vehicles would be purchased from an Indian manufacturer at a reasonable price.

The Park, notified as a protected area in 1990, is located along the Yamuna River in west Noida.

Between September and March, the Park hosts thousands of migratory birds who arrive from southern Russia, eastern Europe and central Asia.

The Park has recorded the presence of over 300 bird species and is recognised globally as an Important Bird Area, with the presence of 19 globally-endangered bird species.

The Park authorities also plan to set up an Interpretation Centre at the protected facility to educate and inform visitors about the birds.

The Centre would provide information in visual and text formats.

"We will also expand our ongoing drive to send teams to schools to spread awareness about the Okhla Bird Park among students," said Patnaik.

The arrival of these battery-powered vehicles, coupled with other measures, may just help birds at the sanctuary soar to ‘new heights’.

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