Development of bird sanctuary near Almatti dam is still in papers

A year past but the bird sanctuary still struck in papers only. In April last year only, the government had announced to set up the project

Development of  bird sanctuary near Almatti dam is still in papers

Bagalkot: It has been a year since the government announced the development of a bird sanctuary at Chikkasangama in Bagalkot no major development has been witnessed with this project.

In April, 2021, the then Minister for Forest Aravind Limbavali had made it public that the state government has geared up to develop an exclusive bird sanctuary in the backwaters of Lal Bahadur Shastri Water Reservoir (Almatti Dam) at Chikkasangama, where the Krishna and Ghataprabha river confluences, of Bilagi taluka.  

The Karnataka State Wildlife Board (KSWB) has also given the nod for developing a bird sanctuary at Chikkasangama in 2021. Thereafter, no major development has been witnessed with regard to the project.

Prashanth Shankinamath, District Conservator Forest officer of Bagalkot, said that, “We are drafting a report about the proposed bird sanctuary at Chikkasangama. The report will be submitted to the government in a week. There is a possibility that the government will announce the notification for the same in the upcoming cabinet meeting.”

“A survey and documentation of birds is also being carried out at the proposed site by the experts. It was delayed because of the lack of technical information about the site. Now, all the necessary information has been gathered and will be submitted to the government.  The work has been paced up from the past few months,” stated DCF Prashanth.

Annually in different seasons around 200 different species of migratory birds arrive in the backwaters of Almatti Dam. The birds arrive here from Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Australian countries. River Tern, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Pintail duck, Bar-headed Geese, Asian Openbill, Black-winged Stilt, Red Wattled Lapwing and many different species of birds have been identified in this region.

The migratory birds come in huge numbers as the place is ideal for nesting and breeding and there are over 100 natural islands in the backwaters. The Almatti Dam backwaters have a unique ecosystem that stretches over 70 kilometres.

M R Desai, the wild-life warden, pointed out that, “Efforts are being made to bring this bird sanctuary project under Ramsar Convention, which works on protecting the wetlands, by the experts. Detailed documentation is also being made on the bird habitat in the backwaters, which will be submitted to Ramsar Convention.”

“If the project gets sanctioned by Ramsar Convention, it will give a big boost to the project because the government will get financial aid and other assistance to develop and manage a bird sanctuary. There are delays in the project for various technical reasons. However, the government has to notify the project at the earliest,” appealed wildlife warden Desai.