Noida forest department to beautify, revamp Okhla bird sanctuary
Revamping the sanctuary involves putting in place a state-of-the-art interpretation centre, nature club, nature trail, CCTV control centre, digital library and bird guides, along with other amenities and facilitiesnoida Updated: Jan 12, 2018 22:01 IST
The Gautam Budh Nagar district forest department has prepared a proposal to beautify and revamp the 4.5 square-kilometre Okhla bird sanctuary situated along the Yamuna bank near Kalindi Kunj barrage on Delhi-Noida border.
Forest officer for the Gautam Budh Nagar division, HV Girish, submitted a proposal in this regard to the union minister of state for art, culture, environment, forest and climate change, Dr Mahesh Sharma. The minister, who is also a member of Parliament from Gautam Budh Nagar constituency, had assured the forest department of help in beautifying the sanctuary and also provide facilities to those who visit this wildlife habitat.
“We had met the minister in his Delhi office and discussed in detail the plan to provide facilities to visitors at the sanctuary. After we submitted a proposal in writing to the minister, he assured of taking steps so that work on providing the facilities could start at the site without further delay,” Girish said.
Revamping the sanctuary involves putting in place a state-of-the-art interpretation centre, nature club, nature trail, CCTV control centre, digital library and bird guides, along with other amenities and facilities. Officials said the facilities will be as approved by the Government of India for sanctuaries.
Officials said that the number of visitors is expected to increase if more facilities are provided, as the newly opened Magenta line of the Metro link provides a sound travel option for Delhi-NCR birders.
Following orders from Uttar Pradesh principal secretary (industries) in February 2017, the forest officials had prepared a proposal to revamp the bird sanctuary but no step has been taken till date.
Notified in 1990, the Okhla bird sanctuary is now one of the 466 important birding areas in India. It is home to 30 species of migratory birds that arrive here from mid-October to mid-November every year. In a 2010 order, the Supreme Court had directed the Noida authority to develop a green buffer at the north and north-eastern side of the sanctuary to reduce direct disturbance to the wildlife. However, nothing has been done so far.
“Whenever we receive orders from the state or Central government, we try to take steps to protect the sanctuary and increase facilities for visitors but we can play only our role. The decision has to come from top officials,” Girish said.