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Gear up for migratory bird season in Sambhar Lake wetland area: Niranjan Arya, Rajasthan Chief Secretary

Jaipur – Chief Secretary Niranjan Arya has directed the authorities to gear up for the upcoming migratory bird season in Sambhar wetland area.  

Addressing the 5th meeting of the standing committee for the management of Sambhar Lake through a video conference Niranjan Arya said that the departments and district administrations must put in concerted efforts for the conservation of the Sambhar Lake, and protection of migratory birds from botulism, which was the major reason for bird deaths in November 2019. He asked the officials to make all necessary preparations to avoid any situation like in 2019.

Arya also reviewed the progress reports of various departments involved in the protection and conservation of Sambhar Lake. He also directed the officials concerned to take suitable action against activities like illegal extraction of salt from the lakebed, illegal electricity cables passing under the lakebed and illegal borewells in the lake area.

Officials of State Remote Sensing and Application Centre (SRSAC) made a presentation on creation of wetland inventory and assessment on land use change in those regions through high-resolution digital maps. SRSAC has been asked to map 100 wetlands across the state including Sambhar Lake through remote sensing and GIS technology. Niranjan Arya praised the initiative stating that the project will help the authorities in the identification, demarcation and conservation of wetland areas in the state.

The Chief Secretary asked the district collectors of Jaipur, Nagaur, and Ajmer to ensure that bird rescue centres around the Sambhar lake are well equipped in case a 2019-like situation breaks out, apart from establishing temporary check posts on the fringes of the waterbody to prevent illegal entry of vehicles. He also instructed the officials to form surveillance teams to keep an eye on the health of migratory birds.

Shreya Guha, Principal Secretary, Environment, informed the meeting that a team of veterinarians has been trained by Rajasthan University of Veterinary And Animal Sciences in dealing with the migratory birds. The team will also keep a tab on the health of such birds in the Sambhar Lake area.

Officials of the Tourism Department said that the Sambhar Lake is being developed and promoted as an ecological destination. There are also plans to hold Sambhar Festival, which has been postponed multiple times due to Covid.    

The meeting was attended by the Managing Director of Sambhar Salts Ltd, Deputy Chief Engineer of North Western Railway and senior officials of various departments. 

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