Explore the butterfly bounty in Singur
Kolkata: Singur, a hamlet in Bengal's Hooghly district is buzzing with butterflies these days. Research scholars from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have stumbled upon as many as 69 species belonging to 54 genera and five families in Singur that has made history particularly after the triumph of the peasants' movement against forcible land acquisition of the erstwhile Left Front government.
"It has been found that family Nymphalidae was the most dominant among the five families with 22 species, followed by Lycaenidae comprising of 19 species, Hesperiidae comprising 12 species, Pieridae with 8 species and Papilionidae with 7," said Aritra Dey, one of the three researchers working upon the diversity of butterflies in Singur.
Among these 69 species, five species were found to be protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, (1972). These include species like the Tree Flitter, Striped Albatross, Pea Blue, Common Indian Crow and Danaid Eggfly. The research article by Aritra Dey, Krishnendu Mondal, both research scholars of ZSI and Arajush Payra of the Department of Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation, North Orissa University has been published in the noted environmental journal "E-planet" entitled with "A Study on Butterfly Diversity in Singur, West Bengal, India." The study was carried out from March 2015 to November 2016. Nymphalidae and Lycaenidae were the most frequently sighted groups during this survey.
"The present study is short in nature, but added valuable information on diversity of butterfly fauna and will contribute in developing effective conservation measures in Hooghly district of Bengal," Dey said, adding that it is for the first time that such a study on butterflies have been carried out in Singur. The research team has observed excellent soil quality that results in a dominated land cover of cultivated land followed by residential and forest areas. Forests are mainly dominated by trees and bushy shrubs planted by humans.
Singur gained international media attention since Tata Motors started constructing a factory to manufacture its Tata Nano at Singur. The small car was scheduled to roll out of the factory by 2008. However, in October 2008, Tatas announced withdrawal from the project. Land acquisition for the project faced strong opposition from the unwilling farmers led by Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.
In August 2016, the Supreme Court quashed the erstwhile Left Front Bengal government's acquisition of 997 acre of agricultural land for Tata Motors and ordered its return to 9,117 landowners.