in the first week of October, the Thol reservoir in the Mehsana district of Gujarat witnessed another episode of human-avian conflict. Thousands of villagers marched to the reservoir and demanded the release of water to save their crops. Faced with the agitated crowd the guards relented.
The reservoir was originally an irrigation tank. In November 1998, it was declared a bird sanctuary. Both irrigation and wildlife departments manage the sanctuary. Since the settlement work is yet to be completed, an understanding was arrived at between the two departments that a maximum level of four feet had to be maintained in the reservoir. No water would be withdrawn once the stipulated level was reached. Following the incident, the water level stood at one and a half feet. Every year, about 30,000 waterfowls converge at this reservoir. This year the number was expected to be much less because of the water scarcity.
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