Dadri wetland faces destruction: Environmentalists
Greater Noida, Feb 5 (IANS) The Dadri wetland area in Greater Noida, which is home to over 220 species of birds, including the very rare Bristled Grassbirds, is facing destruction from encroachers and builders, environment activists said Saturday.
The uncultivated land here is turned into grasslands and the area now has several such fields, an activist said.
The breeding of the rare Bristled Grassbird has been recorded for the first time ever in this habitat. But private builders are wreaking havoc and the state also is out to destroy it instead of protecting it.
‘Once gone, it’s gone forever. It will be a big national loss in terms of wildlife,’ said the environmentalist, preferring anonymity.
Anand Arya, another environmentalist, said: ‘We are asking the government to declare the wetlands as a protected area, a bird sanctuary or an eco-sensitive zone so that there is no change in the land use.’
Reacting to the issue, Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate Deepak Agarwal said that the district forest officer would be asked to prepare a proposal in this regard.
However, the district forest officer, Irfan Khan, said: ‘We are not sure who owns the land. In any case, the wildlife there has to be preserved and no threat to it will be permitted.’
Bird watchers from Delhi, Noida and adjoining areas have recorded the presence of over 220 species of rare migrant and resident birds in and around Bil Akbarpur village, about 3 km from Dadri and about 40 km south-east of Delhi.
The huge lake in the Dadri wetland area is what attracts some of the rarest varieties of migrant birds from Central Asia and Ladakh.
Birds like the bar-headed geese that fly in from Siberia across Mount Everest are also seen in thousands at Bil Akbarpur.
‘The flutter of tens of thousands of wings round-the-clock is captivating,’ Anand Arya said.
‘One can spot over 5,000 birds at any given point of time here. There are tens of thousands of birds in this habitat and many more are coming. It is also home to hundreds of resident birds throughout the year,’ he said.
According to him, the wetlands have some of the most threatened species like Sarus Crane and Black-Necked Stork that are difficult to spot anywhere else.
‘It is one place that represents all families of birds – migrant or resident – and is richer in habitat than the Sultanpur or Okhla bird sanctuaries,’ Arya claimed.
Among the 220 species recorded in the Dadri wetlands during the last four years, environmentalists have spotted Sarus (state bird of UP), Blue Throat (rare bird from Alaska) and waterfowls like Mallard, Pintail, Shoveler ducks, Garganey teals, Pochards, Wigeons and Waders.
Update 22 Oct 2010
For nature lovers there is a good news that Greater Noida Authority is fast developing the Surajpur lake and bird sanctuary for tourism. WWF organization has already noted in its report that this is the best spot for bird sanctuary.
This natural spot is spread over 300 acres and actually harbours one of the natural occurring lake.
Another good news for the Ansal Golf Link 2 plot holders since the area is now fast developing and is actually surrounded in the best part of the nature.
Please see below link for Hindi version of news article
Please also see the location of Surajpur Natural Lake and Bird Sanctuary at below wikimapia link (Ansal Golf Link 2 is also within 1 km range)