OKHLA: Urging people to make a collective effort to protect the environment, flora and fauna, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that environmental issues are not technical issues, but moral issues. Laying the Foundation Stone for Redevelopment and Upgradation of Okhla Bird Sanctuary to mark the International Day of Forest at Noida, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that upon completion of the ambitious project, the Bird Sanctuary will become a place worth visiting for the entire country. The Minister recalled the Prime Minister’s vision of delivering a New India by the year 2022 as a nation, in which there is dense forest, clean water and clean air.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that NOIDA is scripting a new history. He pointed out that environment is seen from a spiritual and emotional point of view. “Our relationship with environment is one of cooperation and intimacy”, Dr Sharma added. He stated that the The Redevelopment and Upgradation of Okhla Bird Sanctuary will include a Watch Tower of international standard, a relaid Cycle Track for tourists, and CCTV Network for improved security; and Electric vehicles for mobility.
Okhla Bird Sanctuary is located close to New Delhi and is one of the 467 Important Bird Areas (IBA) of the country and is home to a large number of resident, as well as migratory birds like grey-headed fish eagle, Baikal teal, Baer’s pochard and Sarus crane. It is home to 32 species of reptiles, seven species of amphibians and 186 plant species.
Okhla Bird Sanctuary, belonging to the State of Uttar Pradesh, has an area of 400 ha, out of which 120 ha falls within the National Capital Region of Delhi. Okhla Bird Sanctuary is situated on the road connecting Delhi and NOIDA and there is a huge scope to promote Conservation Education and Eco-Tourism in the Sanctuary. Being well-connected with DMRC through Okhla Bird Sanctuary station, many schools in NCR can now participate in Nature camps and Eco-club activities.
The Eco-sensitive Zone of Okhla Bird Sanctuary has also been notified for better management of the Protected Area.