Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Desilting of Yediyur lake badly timed: Activists

Desilting of Yediyur lake badly timed: Activists

Deccan Herald

“From the point of view of the birds,” says Leo Saldanha, “it was a disaster”.
The coordinator of the Environment Report Group was referring to the desilting of Yediyur lake that has been going on for the past week or so.

The work was stopped by officials on Monday, when it was pointed out that the work was being carried on without due concern for the birds, or due permission from the Forest Department.

Apparently it is a particularly bad time to desilt, since for most of the birds it is breeding time. The water that was drained off resulted in nests getting exposed, and chicks being devoured by passing hawks and stray dogs. People For Animals and Cupa rescued as many as 25 chicks and ‘a whole lot of eggs’.
Bhargavi S Rao, also from the ERG, is particularly miffed, since desilting was done in the lake ‘just last year’. What, she wonders, is the necessity of doing so, when crores of rupees were spent such a short while ago?

The egrets, coots, cranes and all the birds for whom Yediyur lake is home have been affected, as are a few transcontinental migratory birds. But, says Mr Saldanha, whether migratory or not, they are wild birds, and the authorities went ahead without consulting, or even thinking about them.

The Forest Department, said Mr Saldanha, has assured the environmental activists that they will send a circular to all departments concerned, to ensure something on these lines is not repeated.


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