Water levels receding: Challenges galore to maintain Sultanpur bird sanctuary
Gurugram: Just a few kilometers away from where the Prime Minister addressed a gathering of 50,000 people on Monday, there is Sultanpur Bird park. Set up in 1972, it is the only location in Haryana where a large number of foreign and domestic birds come and breed, the sanctuary was declared as a national park in 1991. Challenges however galore for the bird sanctuary as the water levels in the bird park are receding at a fast pace
The issue was raised prominently by the Gururgam Lok Sabha MP Rao Inderjit Singh to the Prime Minister in the rally. To increase the water levels, there are now plans by the authorities to divert the water that goes to the Yamuna from the city towards Sultanpur. To gauge the amount of water flowing through the Yamuna, a survey by the Gurugram metropolitan development authority (GMDA) found that over six crore liters of sewage water flow daily from Gurugram to the river. Even as there are plans to build a sewage water treatment plant at Daultabad, there is no clear deadline that when will this plant be operational. The low levels of water are resulting in less number of birds coming to the park.
Becuse of real estate development and rapid urbanisations, the area has been converted into for commercial usage which has also adverse impact. Earlier as per the government guidelines, no constructions were allowed in the range of five kilometers, however now it has been reduced to 300 meters. What has made the matter worse is a large number of illegal colonies that have sprouted around the area. Built by the Britishers, these water embarkments not only used to drain out the water but also brought rich silts into the region from the annual flooding in the Yamuna River.
Most of the bunds that have now become extinct were set up during the British times. The ones that are surviving continue to remain in a neglected state. In over 460 ponds spread across Gurugram district, 208 have dried up, 186 are dirty where water cannot be utilised.
Even as there has been ban by the court to dig illegal bore wells, there are over 15,000 illegal bore wells that have been dug up in the city. In most of the areas in the city, the groundwater has fallen to levels of 50 meters. The alarming decline in water levels in the city was also brought up by the National Green Tribunal.