Saturday, 29 July 2017

Najafgarh jheel near Delhi, miratory birds's habitat - abuse by urbanization

India is endowed with countless wildlife sanctuaries, birds sanctuaries  and several areas with fine biodiversity and eco-system. Because of urbanization and industrialization, many of them, sensitive to changes, are gradually either shrinking or becoming polluted. Such natural habitats should be protected for posterity.

Flamingos, visitors to Delhi in the winter. Scroll.in

Najafgarh, migratory birds, Scroll.in  

As far as migratory water birds are concerned, around Delhi, the scenario is changing because of impact of ever-increasing population, water pollution and developmnt of new suburbs. The  well-known Okhla Bird Sanctuary, the eco-sensitive zone near Delhi is gradually losing its importance as a nice place for the birds to roost. That it has been the resting zone of migratory birds for decades has become a thing of the past, and the birds - regular visitors skip this place  and head to  the Najafgarh drain and jheel. More birds have come to the nullah this year than the declining sanctuary.


The wetland ecosystem and wildlife habitat covering  several kilometres of the Najafgarh drain or nallah passes through rural areas southwest of India's capital Delhi. Part of it drains into a basin  that formed the once famous but now completely drained Najafgarh lake or Najafgarh jheel. Unfortunately, this waterway that falls within the boundary of the National Capital Territory geomorphologically is misnamed as a mere drain, but, in reality, it is  an elongation of the Najafgarh jheel Lake and is a tributary  of River Yamuna. Najafgarh drain is actually  the polluted River Sahibi that  flows through Delhi before merging into the Yamuna.  it is noted that  in the last two years, the drain and the Najafgarh lake have become a sanctuary  for winter migratory birds and the number of visitors are  more than the Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Sultanpur National Park and Dadri Wetlands put together.

Birds arriving in Delhi during winters. Indpaedia


en.wikipedia.org/Aerial view of Najafgarh Drain

 An interesting fact is in winter every year it becomes a fine refuge for  thousands of migratory waterbirds. They come here to roost and stay for a while; this place has become a famous and  important habitat to migratory waterbirds as well as local wildlife. It has been earmarked to be declared a bird sanctuary for Delhi. Last year more than 2000 flamingos came here. There are no clues as to where they came from; however, they stayed here till the Spring and Summer. These beautiful birds  with a hooked beak knew how to sift the microscopic nutrients found in the less polluted areas of the lake. This waterhole is a fine sanctuary for numerous migratory water birds that come as far as Tibet, Iran, etc., and locally from the breeding places of Gujarat. Other birds include pelicans, numerous waterfowls, common teal, Tibetan bar-headed geese, storks and other birds. The semi agrarian environs, consisting of reeds, soil and rain act collectively and remove the filth in the habitat. 

water pollution. Emaze

Though, it is an important habitat for the migratory birds, part of the drain stretching several kilo meters  is filled with filth from Delhi's overflowing population. 
 
Najafgarh jheel is covered with overgrown hyacinth, the water in the drain and part of the lake is so stagnated, the media has reported, that the stench is very bad. The mixing of sewage from the urban 
high rise building is aggravating the pollution problem in the drain and the lake which is near the boundaries  of Haryana and Delhi is becoming dirty. Bird watchers and environmentalists blame the state governments with respect to definition of wetland and  not strictly enforcing  government regulations to avoid abuse of wetlands. Since the place is close to the capital, the real estate companies abuse the areas closer to the bird's habitat.

ramaniecuvellore.blogspot.com
The governments - both Delhi and Haryana must demarcate the area of the bird sanctuary and see to it no sewage and filth get mixed in the drain that would pollute the eco-system. The habitat is squalid and unfit for the birds. Quite amazingly, they adopt themselves to this dirty habitat. It is imperative on the part of the governments to preserve this beautiful habitat for the future survival of migratory birds.  A steady supply of good water to this sensitive habitat is a must to improve the eco system. The environmentalists and bird watchers will be much pleased if the authorities impose strict rules in the adjacent areas of the drain and the Najafgarh lake or Najafgarh jheel in the disposal of garbage, etc. To begin with, the government must officially  acknowledge that this habitat is a wetland and keep the real estate developers far away from this place. 
Ref:
https://scroll.in/article/687509/this-winter-migratory-birds-are-avoiding-delhis-okhla-sanctuary-and-flocking-to-najafgarh-nullah

http://www.thehindu.com/society/ballerinas-of-najafgarh/article19325363.ece