Over 40 leopards' lives at stake as water pits in Aravallis dry up
Gururgam: It is estimated that over forty leopards and hundreds of animal species are at risk as water pits in Gurugram Aravallis are drying up due to intense heat.
What is even worse than most of the groundwater in Aravallis especially around the Bandhwari belt is becoming extremely toxic with the presence of poisonous chemicals. All these factors are resulting in not only the species of the animal dying early but also in the wild creatures moving to human settlement areas.
On May 5, the body of a nilgai, which suspected died of thirst next to a dried-up pond near Behrampur village, was discovered. It sparked fear among the environmentalists on the non-availability of water in Aravallis.
With the scorching summer expected to further reduce the groundwater in Aravallis, there is fear of more animals venturing into the residential areas for the purpose of drinking water and food requirements.
Gurugram is facing an extreme crisis of depletion of groundwater reserves. According to reports, the levels of groundwater is plummeting by a metre every year in Gurugram. Most of the pits dug up in Aravallis for meeting drinking water requirements for the wild animals are being filled by officials through pipeline water.
However, most of the pits are not being recharged fully as the Gurugram forest officials are not being able to meet the capacity to fill the pits.
Top officials of the wildlife department acknowledge that the lack of tankers and scarcity of water have made filling ponds a challenge. "The levels of groundwater in Aravallis are extremely low. This has affected the plantation of the area. Further, the pits that are being dug up are not being filled up with adequate water. For the requirement of food and water most of the wild animals like Leopards and Hyenas are venturing into residential areas of the city," said a Gurugram forest official.
"I have now appealed to the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) and to the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), asking if they can either provide us with tankers or a certain amount of raw water for the animals. We are also open to any private entity who might be willing to help us through CSR channels," he further added.
Environmentalists in the city assert that lack of proper planning and extreme exploitation of groundwater reserves in the city is affecting the green belt of Aravallis adversely. "Aravallis has been exploited for long. Aravallis were natural aquifers for the city. However, the exploitation of Aravallis due to vested interests has affected the flora as well as fauna of Aravallis. Today Aravallis has literally turned into a desert," said SS Oberoi, a green activist in the city.