Alternatives sought

Published: Saturday 31 October 1998

THE Rajasthan government has been asked by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Rajasthan, to find alternative sites to the Keoladeo Ghana National Park near Bharatpur so that the pressure of the visitors to the 2,900-hectare sanctuary can be reduced. According to the secretary of WWF, Harsh Vardhan, Kalakh and Sainthal, both near Dausa, and two lakes near Tahla on the southern side of Sariska Sanctuary in Alwar could be considered as an alternative.

Vardhan also expressed concern over the status of Sambhar Lake, a unique brakish water body in Rajasthan. Sambhar is the largest salt water lake in India which recieves nearly 50,000 birds in winter. Flamingoes, waders, ducks, and pelicans are some of the regular visitors to the lake. Vardhan suggested that a cell should be created by the irrigation department for the management of the lake. The irrigation department was also asked to identify reservoirs to suit the purpose of pisciculture, for birds and wildlife. Further, an inventory of Rajasthan's water resources should be prepared giving data on crucial aspects of each reservoir.

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