Lost birds

WILDLIFE officials fear that migratory birds will not come to the Sultanpur National Park, Haryana, because the lake that supports the park is rapidly drying up and even the artificial sources of water have been stopped.

According to R D Jakati, chief wildlife warden of Haryana, widespread activities like industrial development in the catchment area of the lake and increase in the number of farmhouses have reduced the natural inflow of water. The lake receives water only in the monsoon season, inadequate to feed the 80 hectares of wetland area.

The government constructed two tubewells, and later two more were added, near the lake to pump water into it. However, after the upper layers of the groundwater tables were exhausted, saline, and brackish water begun to flow. This is harmful to avi fauna. Now that the pumps are no longer working, very little water is left. The state forest department has proposed to the Union ministry of environment and forests for a 3.5-km pipeline in order to maintain the flow of the water.