Jammu: Commissioner Secretary, Forest, SanjeevVerma, Wednesday visited Gharana Wetland Conservation Reserve and inspected protection and conservation works being undertaken by the department of Wildlife Protection.
Chief Wildlife Warden, Suresh Kumar Gupta, informed the Commissioner Secretary that the department has prepared management plan for Gharana Wetland Conservation Reserve for 5 years. He said that the department has proposed to take up various activities as per management plan for protection, conservation and development of wetland during 2022-23.
It was informed that activities proposed for 2022-23 included fencing, de-siltation, de-weeding, sluice gates at exit point, bore wells, sewerage treatment plant, viewpoints, bird observatory, approach road with parking, public convenience, refreshment point etc. Besides, all important activities for making Gharana an Eco-Tourism attraction shall be completed in two years followed by management and conservation activities in the following years.
Commissioner Secretary directed the department to prioritize various activities for timely completion. He also asked the officers to take up approved works at the earliest for completion before the migratory birds reach there in winters. He also advised to involve locals in conservation efforts once the key works, as per management plan, are completed. He called for training the local youth as bird/eco-guides to generate livelihood opportunities.
Pertinently, Gharana is a Wetland Conservation Reserve notified under Wildlife Protection Act in 1981 and declared as Important Bird Area (IBA) by Bird Life International and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) in 2004. The wetland is home to rich bird diversity and receives migratory birds from Central Asia in winter. The wetland is at a distance of 4 Km from Suchetgarh border and thus becomes part of Tourism circuit in the area.
Regional Wildlife Warden, Jammu, Dr Kumar M K, Wildlife Warden, Jammu, Anil Atri, Range Officer Wetland, Ashish and staff of Department of Wildlife Protection accompanied the Commissioner Secretary during his visit.