Projects in Rajasthan to save wildlife from drought


While under one initiative water will be brought to Keoladev Ghana National Park in Bharatpur district to save the bird population there, the other programme is designed to improve the water-table in forest area, state chief wildlife warden R N Mehrotra said.

The pipe-line project connecting the bird sanctuary is scheduled to be completed by next monsoon and the other project had recently received approval for funds from NABARD, he said.

About the NABARD-funded project, Mehrotra said, "Over 100 large water bodies like tanks, ponds and water harvesting structures would be constructed in four major sanctuaries of Sariska (Alwar), Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Sawai Man Singh (both is Sawaimadhopur) and Keladevi (Karauli) in this pilot project of two years."

The NABARD recently approved grant of Rs 42 crore for the project aimed at increasing water table in forests. Works under the project would start next month, he said.
"This is a productivity enhancement project for agriculture field and will benefit both sanctuaries and villages in the periphery. It will be helpful to recharge the sub-soil water regime and provide drinking water in the villages," Mehrotra said.

The government wants to implement the project in Kumbhalgarh, Sanchore, Ramgarh and Mount Abu sanctuaries in the second phase, if the pilot project is successful, Mehrotra said.
"Since natural forests have water-holding capacity, farm lands in the periphery will also be benefitted by the projects," he said.
For the project in Ghana National Park, the Centre has allotted Rs 65 crore and the state water resources department is executing tender process for it.
"Under this project, a 16-km water pipe-line will be laid to bring flood water from Yamuna river in Uttar Pradesh to the sanctuary. The pipeline will be connected to Govardhan drain near Rajasthan-Uttar Pradesh border and flood water will be drawn during monsoon," he said.
"The project is aimed at saving birds in the sanctuary, where their survival is threatened due to lack of water. Migratory birds fly to other water bodies in the region leaving the Ghana deserted to some extent," Mehrotra said.
Thousands of birds fly down to the wetland from Siberia and north European countries during the winter.
"Through the project, we want to ensure availability of water in the wetland, even if the monsoon fails," he said.

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