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Desist from illegal activity around Hokarsar wetland: Lal Singh

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Feb 25: Min-ister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh today said the Government is taking all possible measures to develop Hokarsar – a heaven for migratory birds, into a major tourist attraction in Srinagar suburbs.
While taking a tour of the wetland, the Minister said tens of thousands of water fowls choose to visit this wetland and Government is taking all possible measures to keep all the facilities available for the species.
“This wetland is always first priority of these guest birds, which come from different parts of the world to visit valley during winters,” Singh said.
He visited Hokarsar and reviewed the initiatives taken for beautification of the wetland. The Minister was informed that currently 350000 birds are housed in this wetland. He took stock of the facilities and management available at the wetland. He directed the officials to work tirelessly for the smooth functioning of the wetlands across the valley.
On the occasion, the Minister was informed about various initiatives taken by the Department for the conservation of the wetlands.
It was given out that during last season six lakh migratory birds which included grey leg geese, mallard, ducks, pochards, peasant tail Jasana came from Siberia, China, Central Asia and North Europe and stayed in the wetland. The officials said that the water entering from Doodganga stream has posed major threat to the wetland and demanded its diversion or stoppage in order to bring back the pristine glory of the wetland.
“It is our collective responsibility to safeguard the wetland for posterity,” Singh said, adding  “people should desist from any illegal activity in and around the wetland and they should not make any attempt of encroaching on it. The offenders would have to face the legal action as per standing guidelines of the Supreme Court.
The Minister was accompanied by Director Soil Conservation, Javid Ahmad Panjoo, Joint Director Forest Protection Force Kashmir, Irfan Ali Shah, Regional Wildlife Warden, Kashmir, Raashid Naqah, Regional Director, Social Forestry, Tawheed Deva, Regional Director State Pollution Control Board, Syed Nadeem Husain, Wildlife Warden Wetlands, Rouf Zargar,   Agrostolist, Firdous Ahmad Mir among other senior officers of the Forest and its allied wings.

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