BIJAPUR; 17 April: The dream of bird lovers and ornithologists for Almatti backwaters having its own bird sanctuary is getting realized as the government has given its nod to establish a sanctuary at Chikkasangama in Bagalkot district.
The Minister for Forests and Kannada and Culture Aravind Limbavali has given approval for the project.
The Minister has reportedly said that it has been the long standing demand of the wild-life conservationists of developing a bird sanctuary in the backwaters of Almatti Dam, which has been fulfilled. The proposal sent by the Karnataka State Wildlife Board (KSWB) has been sanctioned by the state government in December itself. The government will provide the necessary funds to develop the world class bird sanctuary in coming days.
Sources said that a meeting was convened with the Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and officials of Forest Department and KSWB in November 2020. The KSWB giving nod for the project had submitted the same proposal before the government in the meeting. Now, the government has given approval for the project.
It may be noted that the report was prepared by forest officials two years ago itself and the report was submitted to the government for approval. However, post that, no considerable development had taken place on the report.
Annually in different seasons around 200 different species of migratory birds arrive here from Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Australian countries to the backwaters of Almatti Dam. River Tern, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Pintail duck, Bar-headed Geese, Asian Openbill, Black-winged Stilt, Red Wattled Lapwing and many different species of birds have been identified in this region.
The migratory birds come in huge numbers as the place is ideal for nesting and breeding and moreover there are over 100 natural islands in the backwaters. The authorities have now planned to develop the bird sanctuary at Chikkasangama, where Krishna and Ghataprabha river confluences. It is distanced less than 50kms from the district headquarters.
Prashanth Shankinamath, Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) said that, “The state government has given only approval for the project and it is yet to be passed in the cabinet. After the issue of gazette notification only it will be considered as official approval. We are already on the job preparing the draft for the notification. The project is likely to be done jointly by the Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigama Limited and Forest Department,” said DCF Shankinamath.
Welcoming the decision of the wildlife board, M R Desai, senior wild-life warden, said that a group of experts and scientists have recently visited the proposed area for bird sanctuary and have conducted the survey of migratory birds. The Almatti backwaters have a unique ecosystem stretching more than 70kms along the Krishna River. It is the ideal place to establish the bird sanctuary and helps to conserve the birds and other wildlife of the region, he said.