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Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary at Risk

Vedanthangal, one of the oldest Indian Bird Sanctuary, was pushed into the hands of industrialists, when 40% of the area, which is an integral location as a nesting place for thousands of migratory birds, was opened for commercial use, for setting up industries. National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) was sent this proposal which was filed by the State Board of Wildlife.

The sanctuary has a 30 hectares preserved area, which is located in the Chengalpattu district of Tamil Nadu in India. It is at a distance of 75Km from the state capital Chennai. It is a habitat for more than 4000 birds, 190 distinct wildlife species, including 26 extremely rare species. A request was sent to NBWL asking to clear some of the buffer zones from 5Km to 3Km, putting Vedanthangal bird sanctuary at risk. Chief Wildlife Warden S. Yuaraj said the biodiversity will not be affected.

Justifying the plan, the forest officials stated that the 5Km buffer area was restricted from non-forest activities such s land conversion, and other commercial activities, unless permitted by the state and NBWL. The locals have been protesting the move since the beginning.

“This has led to discouragement among people in surrounding villages and their non-participation in protected area management.”

Sun Pharmaceuticals Industry Limited is looking forward to setting up inside the sanctuary. The expected location of the plant is 3.72Km away from the lake. The company has stated that they already have 40 KLD STP and 80 KLD ETP to maintain Zero Liquid Discharge. They also assured rainwater harvesting technology will be available.

But the move angered a lot of environmentalists, who this Sunday, organized a Twitter campaign, asking the authorities to stop this move.

 M. Yuvan, a naturalist and activist tweeted, "Protect India's oldest bird sanctuary and pride of Tamil Nadu. Make sure this 'Wonder' is there for many more generations to see".

The hashtag #savevedanthangal became trending in Tamil Nadu, environmentalists coming together. The verdict by NBWL is yet to come.

Traffic Monitoring System near Nagarhole Tiger Reserve

The forest department decided to put a traffic monitoring system, along the roads adjacent to the Nagarahole National Park, and crisscrossing Mysuru and Kodagu districts. A time card type system will be implemented to ensure that people follow the forest laws, which will help minimize road kills, motorists do not stop midway, and litter the area or cause disturbance to the animals.

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