Today, when we decided to visit the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, a few kilometres from Gurgaon on the Gurgaon-Jajhar road, we were in for a pleasant surprise. The Park had re-opened today on the occasion of the Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, and added to this, the park authorities have decided to make the entry free for all visitors from the First of October to the Seventh of October to mark the wildlife safety week.
There were a lot of ducks swimming in the water and grazing on the grass were the regular inhabitants of the sanctuary, the larger species of deer called the Neel Gai, in Hindi.
Fortunately, this time there was some water in the lake, and it looks as if it is here to stay for some time. Hopefully the birds will have a good time this season. The greatest problem for this Bird sanctuary however is that all the channels of water that used to drain into the lake during rains have now been cut off because of rather extensive construction of flats and buildings all around the lake.The Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary has in any case become an island of nature surrounded by a concrete jungle which threatens its very existence! The snap pasted below shows how this island of Nature is gradually getting cut off from other open areas which were also once upon a time wet lands!
This picture taken from one of the observation towers shows some of the construction sites surrounding the bird sanctuary. These building site are steading cutting off the only sources of rainwater that feed the lake with fresh water. The future of this bird sanctuary is at stake because of the greed of people who want to cash in the booming realty rates. It won’t be surprising if one day, soon in the future, the true inhabitants, the Teals, the Ducks, the Cormorants, the Cranes and the Storks suddenly find that instead of the lake, there are tall buildings, apartments and that their nesting grounds have suddenly disappeared. Recently, there was a story doing the rounds in the town about a duck that had laid eggs in one of the residences in the town. The duck flew away leaving behind its chicks. Migratory birds return to their nesting sites with great accuracy every year no matter how far they have to fly. Siberian Cranes and some of the Ducks fly in from as far away as Siberia. They have made their homes in this little sanctuary, and they will keep coming to this site even after it has disappeared! The birds will lay their eggs and the chicks that hatch will not survive in the harsh and bleak environment which is without a water body. Thus entire generations of exotic species of migratory birds will perish when this bird sanctuary also disappears, giving way to the demands for land for building houses for people!
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