Birds still coming to Bharatpur Sanctuary: GOvt

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New Delhi, Mar 20 (UNI) The Government today denied that migratory birds had stopped coming to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary due to scarcity of water and said adequate measures are being taken to ensure the World Heritage status of the site.

Replying to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Environment and Forest S Reghupathy said 48 migratory species had come to the sanctuary during 2006-07.

Before the sharp decline in availability of water, more than 360 species of migratory birds visited the sanctuary.

Responding to queries by BJP member from Rajasthan Lalit Kishore Chaturvedi and Congress' Syeda Anwar Taimur, Mr Reghupathy said the Rajasthan Government's Rs 100 crore project for the sanctuary has been forwarded to the Planning Commission for approval.

''Till then several short and long term measures are been taken to ensure that adequate water is available in the area,'' he added.

He said to maintain the wetland character of the park, 550 million cubic feet of water is required annually.

''The wetland character of the park can be maintained by harnessing about 200 million cubic feet of water from Chiksana canal and Ajan dam and about 350 million cubic feet of water through the proposed Govardhan drain project,'' he added.

In addition, about 310 million cubic feet of water per year for the initial four years and about 62.5 million cubic feet of water per year after four years would also be made available to the park from the Dholpur-Bharatpur Chambal drinking water project, he said.

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