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Flyover a threat to sanctuary

Many of us never realise the wealth it holds, because it comprises scrub and reed vegetation that most people do not consider a green patch.

tech reviews Updated: Dec 10, 2003 19:20 IST

There is just one place in Delhi where you could see flamingos: the Okhla Bird Sanctuary. Many of us never realise the wealth it holds, because it comprises scrub and reed vegetation that most people do not consider a green patch. Actually, most of these patches are unique ecological niches that comprise and flora.

The DND flyover has already spoiled a part of the area. Now, it's a flyover that may run through the sanctuary and impact it negatively apart from destroying the Smriti Van, where Delhiites plant trees in memory of their loved ones. Protests against the flyover fell on deaf ears till an NGO, Samrakshan, went to the court. It said that the flyover should be re-routed to protect this last remaining wilderness.

The Noida authorities are yet to see the richness of the area, and investments have been made. But isn't it time that the quality of the city be judged by its natural environment as much as its flyovers and bridges?

Kerosene & poisoning

Winter is here. To keep warm and cheerful, stoves and lamps are used even more. But there is reason to be vigilant. Poisoning amongst children has been seen by kerosene too, which is highly toxic and should never be kept within their reach. This is not new. Over 10 years ago, studies by doctors in Burdwan, West Bengal, also found that in rural West Bengal, kerosene was the highest cause of poisoning amongst children. Most of these children were under three years. They used to accidentally touch the fuel and put it in their mouths. Although kerosene is set apart by its blue colour, we should still ensure that everyone around us knows of its severe impacts on children.

Of men and turtles

Last month, audiences in Delhi were stunned by film The Ridley's Last Stand, by Shekar Datattri. The film documented how the magnificent Olive Ridley Turtles that nest off three major beaches in Orissa, are being fast killed because of trawling and nets that are completely illegal in the area, and foolish lighting that confuses and kills the baby turtles.

The government has banned the bigger trawlers and nets. Now, there is trouble. The big fishermen have begun an agitation and are shooting from the shoulders of the smaller fishermen, who think they are banned as well, although they are not. In the process, the turtles will still die, and the poor fishermen will be used by the big ones for unscrupulous profits. The poor fishermen will continue to remain at the margins.

(If you feel for Planet Earth write to Earthwatch1@rediffmail.com)