Rajasthan News

Bharatpur bird sanctuary facing water crisis

by RajasthanDirect
Jun 30, 2013

The famous Bharatpur bird sanctuary in Rajasthan, officially known as Keoladev National Park, is struggling to regain its lost glory.

The national park, already facing the prospect of losing its status as a UNESCO world heritage site in view of the acute water shortage in recent years, may now have to confront the threat of contaminated water.

Spread over 29 sq km, the park it is one of the richest bird areas in the world. The only hope for Keoladeo lies in the successful supply of around 350 mcft (million cubic feet) waste monsoon water from Goverdhan drain for which a 17- km-long pipeline has been laid.

The park will get this water from July this year. However, experts say the water from Goverdhan drain could be highly contaminated due to heavy use of pesticides by farmers at the source, which would be harmful for the birds that have already started setting up their colonies in the park.

The concern was also raised as back as in 2007 during the meeting of state forest officials with the Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee (CEC), said leading ornithologist and a member of the state wildlife board, Rajpal Singh.

To avoid a serious crisis, he said, the water supplied to the park must be monitored regularly for its chemical contents.

Singh maintained that if regular supply of safe water was ensured, Keoladeo could regain its lost glory that diminished with the non-arrival of migratory Siberian cranes that last visited in 1998.

Water woes of the park began after the damming of Gambhiri river in Karauli district in 1991. As the successive political leadership succumbed to the pressure of the local farmers opposed to the supply of Gambhiri water to Bharatpur, the crisis further deepened by September 2004 when the state government completely stopped the release of flowing water.

However, following the SC’s directive, the state government was compelled to divert 300 mcft (million cubic feet) water from 2011 for three years from the Chambal river primarily meant for the drinking water supply scheme for Bharatpur’s 1,000 villages.

This share would be whittled down to 62.5 mcft from 2014 onwards.

“Uncertainty would prevail even on availability of this water as the pressure on water supply scheme would increase,” pointed out Sunayan Sharma , former director at Keoladev.

src: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2351961/Uncertainty-prevails-water-crisis-threatens-ecology-Rajasthan-bird-sanctuary-wildlife-park.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

One Response

Ramchandra Tulaskar Says

We can solve the water shortage problem in Bharatpur sanctuary by implementing 50 million liters artificial water reservoir with our Dam without technology. There will be no water shortage here because the sanctuary get 1 lack liters water per day. The project report is mailed to Rajasthan Government and RTDC. They may take decision.