No boating facility for tourists at Rajasthan’s Keoladeo National Park
Tourists visiting Bharatpur’s Keoladeo National Park will not be able to enjoy boating, one of the main attractions at the sanctuary famous for migratory birds, due low level of water in the lakejaipur Updated: Jan 03, 2018 20:57 IST
Tourists visiting Bharatpur’s Keoladeo National Park will not be able to enjoy boating, one of the main attractions at the sanctuary famous for migratory birds, due low level of water in the lake, officials said.
Last year, boating was provided for tourists following a good monsoon in the district and water released from the Panchna Dam in Karauli but scanty rainfall during the monsoon has lowered the water level of the lake this season, they said.
The park has four boats joyrides in lake and for tourists to watch migratory birds that roost in the trees to the lake.
Thousands of migratory birds from Europe, Siberia, China and Asia visit to park for nesting on the babool trees in every winter.
A World Heritage Site, the national park has been facing lack of water due successive scanty monsoon, hitting the breeding of local birds.
State forest and environment minister Gajendra Singh Khimsar issued an order to release 150 mcft of water to the park from the Chambal project during a meeting with park officials on October 17 last year in Jaipur.
Birds, including painted stork that visit the park for nesting and breeding every year, have gone to other lakes due to shortage water, said park director Ajit Udhoi.
More than 2,000 painted storks come to the park to breed every year, he said.
“Each painted stork that lays 2-4 eggs, needs fish to feed the chicks that needs more than 500g of fish every day and we hope to receive 150 mcft of water from the Chambal Canal project to fill the six blocks in park,” he said.
“But due to scanty rainfall in the district we have not received water from the Panchna Dam in Karauli.”
Apart from migratory birds, local species, including open bill stork, cormoret, snake bird, egret, painted stork, spoonbill, eye vish, grey heron, purple heron, cattle egret, large egret, medium egret, Indian seg come to the park to breeding before the monsoon, he said.
Birds that nest on babool trees near the lake need fish, vegetation to survive and water from the Panchna Dam brings fish, vegetation to the lake.
Official data state that 21,409 foreign tourists visited the park between April 2015 and March 2016, 25,417 during April 2016 to March 2017, and 8,418 visited the park between April 2017 to October 2017 to watch migratory birds.
The bird watching season at the park starts from the first week of October and ends in the first week of March.
Migratory birds, including northern shoveller, pintail, gadwall, Eurasian wigeon, common teal, garganey teal, common poachard, tufted and ferruginous ducks, red-crested and bar-handed goose, graylag goose, greater spotted eagles among others, visit the park during the winter months.
The national park, spread over 29sqkm, was set up on March 10, 1982 and declared a World Heritage Site under the World Heritage Convention in 1985.