Forming a major part of Delhi’s lungs, Sanjay Van is an ecological hot spot, ideal for common birds as well as migratory species to come to. It was here that the Asian Paradise Fly Catcher was first spotted in July 2010, after a period of 35 years.
In a bid to officially have a bird sanctuary within the area, nature groups and the DDA came together with school children and the Lt. Governor of Delhi to discuss issues related to the project and to celebrate the International Year of Forests 2011.
And the children showed an enthusiastic response to the project. Aarushi, a student of Air Force Bal Bharati School, Delhi said “There are many birds in the world people are not being able to see them, they only see the common birds, so having a bird sanctuary gives them a chance to see new, new birds and help in conserving the forests”.
One of the main attractions for these birds is the lake within Sanjay Van, created from treated sewage water piped in from a nearby plant; the site is frequented by birds and bird watchers alike.
Over the past few years, a lot of work has been put in to cleaning the lake and planting trees that are likely to attract more bird species.
With nearly 3700 bird watchers all over the country, and about 1500 in Delhi, the idea of having a bird sanctuary in the capital is welcomed by conservationists and bird enthusiasts.
Having received optimistic reviews from the Lt. Governor of Delhi, Tejendra Khanna, the nature groups are hopeful about the project being successful. And it doesn’t seem that finances will be a problem, as assurances have been given by the DDA in supporting the cause.
Retired Air Vice Marshal VS Rawat, who also founded the Working with Nature group, says “As far as funding goes I don’t think we need money from anybody, because it’s controlled by DDA. And DDA has voluntarily come forward after seeing our work, along with the DDA. So, we have been assured that there will be no dearth of funds.”
So, even as the talks of having a bird sanctuary are underway, bird watching continues to thrive as various species are already making their way to Sanjay Van.2