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Forest department to seek Union minister’s advice on beautification of Okhla Bird Sanctuary

The forest department said it has been unable to provide facilities for visitors inside the sanctuary owing to non-availability of funds.

noida Updated: Feb 21, 2018 22:49 IST
Vinod Rajput
Vinod Rajput
Hindustan Times
okhla bird sanctuary,bird park,gb nagar
The Gautam Budh Nagar district forest department wants to beautify and revamp the 4.5 square kilometre Okhla Bird Sanctuary. (Sunil Ghosh/ HT File)

The Gautam Budh Nagar forest department will discuss the plan to beautify Okhla Bird Sanctuary with Union culture and environment minister Dr Mahesh Sharma on March 1 in Delhi.

The Gautam Budh Nagar district forest department wants to beautify and revamp the 4.5 square kilometre Okhla Bird Sanctuary, situated along the Yamuna near Kalindi Kunj Barrage on the Delhi-Noida border.

“The Uttar Pradesh forest department had hired an architect, who has prepared a fresh beautification plan of the sanctuary. We will discuss the plan with the minister, most likely, on March 1 in Delhi. We will discuss the facilities planned and the funds needed,” HV Girish, divisional forest officer, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.

The forest department said it has been unable to provide facilities for visitors inside the sanctuary owing to non-availability of funds.

“The minister has assured to help on the fund issue. The UP irrigation department also gave its approval for the beautification plan after a meeting with its officials on February 16 in Delhi. The irrigation department do not have any problem with the plan provided it does no harm to the flow of water in the barrage,” Girish said.

Sharma, who is also the MP from Gautam Budh Nagar, had assured the forest department of his help in beautifying the sanctuary and providing facilities for visitors of the wildlife habitat.

Beautification of the sanctuary involves putting in place a state-of-the-art interpretation centre, nature club, nature trail, a CCTV control centre, digital library and bird guides, along with other amenities.

Notified in 1990, the Okhla sanctuary is now one of the 466 prominent birding areas in the country. It is home to 30 species of migratory birds that visit the park from mid-October to mid-November every year.

The birds which visit the Okhla bird sanctuary are graylag geese, northern shoveler, bar-headed geese, Eurasian coot, black-headed ibis, painted stork, oriental darter, common pochard, black-tailed godwit and greater spotted eagle, among others.

“If we are able to provide the facilities for visitors at the sanctuary, it will help them, particularly children, to learn more about the wildlife. This might lead to an increase in the number of visitors. After the installation of CCTV cameras and other facilities, visitors will be safe in the sanctuary. Also, if we provide bicycles or e-rickshaws, more visitors will come to the sanctuary. The whole plan is meant to boost tourism,” Girish said.

First Published: Feb 21, 2018 22:49 IST