Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gharana National Wetland in R S Pura cries for development

With the International Wetland Day being observed across the globe today, ‘Gharana’, declared as national wetland and situated along the Indo-Pak International Border in R S Pura Sector, cries for help and demands immediate attention of the Government.

Spread over 500 acres of land, Gharana wetland is one of the famous spots along the International Border that caters to hundreds of species of Siberian Birds including Bar Headed Geese (Raj Hans) every year.

It deserves development and protection for prolonged life and health of the wetland, said a villager.

‘This is decades old wetland but instead of improving and developing the site, its condition has worsened despite release of funds and the spot is not being properly maintained by the authorities,’ he stated.

Due to poor condition of the wetland, the number of Siberian Birds visiting this place is declining every year.

‘The wetland is situated on a wonderful location along the International Border and it can be developed into a good tourist spot, which would not only increase flow of visitors but also generate earning source for the villagers,’ an official on the condition of anonymity said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Government should frame a policy and prepare a master plan to develop and protect the Wetland, he added.

‘The land should be demarcated and fenced while basic facilities should also be arranged for the visitors, which would boost tourism in the area,’ he added.

Meanwhile the World Wildlife Federation-India, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Centre for Environment Education and Paryavaran Mitra, today also organised ‘Gharana Wetland Birding Fair’ to mark the International Wetland Day.

World Wetland Day is celebrated every year across the globe on February 2.

‘The bird fair is being organised at Gharana to highlight the rich variety of migratory birds found on the site in winter season, besides making the Government and civil society aware about the importance of conserving the rich habitat,’ an official spokesman here said.

Earlier in the morning, hundreds of students from about 35 schools and Non-Governmental Organisations participated in the campaign and took out an awareness rally to protect and save the wetland.

The students carrying placards- ‘Save Environment, Save Gharana’, ‘Gharana ko Bachao’- marched though bordering villages to make the residents aware about the development of the wetland.

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