Gharana (J-K), Mar 14 : It is spring and the migratory birds have flocked to Gharana in Jammu and Kashmir. They are a beautiful sight, but the residents are not happy and complain that the birds destroy their standing crops.
They are trying their level best to chase them away, but not to avail.
Having unsuccessfully employed various measures to chase away the migratory birds, the farmers have resorted to bursting of crackers to shoo them away.
The farmers say that these birds feed on food crops causing huge losses to them.
"We do not need the wetland and if we do, so our kids will suffer and starve to death. The crops are damaged and it's upsetting. We are bursting crackers to chase the birds away and not allow them to breathe here. We have to save our crops as there is no help from the government," said Des Raj, a farmer.
The farmers say that bird influx has of late increased considerably.
The change of climate forces these species to fly into Gharana from the plains of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and even some parts of Europe.
While the migration of birds has since increased, the human settlement and cultivation of croplands have also increased in the area.
Encroachments and silting have shrunk the wetlands.
The wildlife department is planning to include Gharana into the National Wetland Programme.
Farmers have not taken kindly to the proposal and are protesting against the government move. "The Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner came and said that they will take our land in return for a compensation in cash, but this is simply the government's way to lure us into it. They will not pay us any compensation and they are trying to trap us," said Ram Lal, another farmer.
The farmers are adamant, but they might have to loose their land to conserve wetlands.