Thursday, October 26, 2006

Three big lakes to be declared Conservation Reserves

Three big lakes to be declared Conservation Reserves
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: In a bid to restore and conserve lakes in the City, the Karnataka Forest department is contemplating to declare Hebbal, Madivala and Puttenhalli tanks as Conservation Reserves.

Soon the Forest department will send a consolidated report to the Chief Wildlife Warden of PCCF Wildlife, which will send it to the Government in due course of time.

This declaration will give more teeth to authorities to check discharge of effluents into the lakes, dumping of garbage and protect lakes from land-grabbers. It will lead to formation of a committee of Panchayat members, NGOs and department staffs, which will innovate ways and means to protect the lakes.

Moreover, the declaration will also make it possible to protect the lakes under Wildlife Protection Act.

These three lakes have been identified for their vast area, adequate water availability and artificially created islands with plenty of greenery that can act as breeding grounds for birds.

Recently, researchers from University of Agricultural Sciences conducted a survey to enumerate the bird species that flock to these lakes. They found regular visitors and migratory birds like cormorants, cranes, darters, ducks, egrets, falcons, herons, ibises, jacanas, kingfishers, mynas, quails, and common moorhen among others. They have pointed out the potential of these lakes to become bird sanctuaries.

According to the Forest department, the lakes can be made into eco-centres that will help in the study and research on birds. It will encourage nature-lovers and bird-watchers, too.

Deputy Conservator of Forests Bangalore Urban A M Annaiah said that full-fledged work will be taken up at these lakes once they are declared as Conservation Reserves.

‘‘Planting of native fruit-bearing trees will be taken up. Constant patrolling to protect birds, de-weeding of water hyacinth, and diversion of untreated sewage water, scheduling of tourist and boating hours will also be done. Entry fee will also be introduced,’’ he added.

According to T V Ramachandra of Centre for Ecological Science, IISC, it is a good idea provided the lake is protected and no further encroachment is ensured.


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