CS lays foundation for development of ‘Gharana Eco-Spot’

CS lays foundation for development of ‘Gharana Eco-Spot’

On the eve of World Wetlands Day, Chief Secretary Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta established the Gharana Wetland here today and laid the foundation for the extensive development of the wetland as an example of ecosystem preservation and an attractive tourist destination.

Those who accompanied the Chief Secretary include Commissioner Secretary, Forests; Secretary, Tourism; Secretary, floriculture; Area Commissioner, Jammu; Deputy Commissioner, Jammu; DDC Member, Suchetgarh; Director, Social Forestry; Chief Engineer, PWD; Chief Wildlife Warden alongside other Forest Service officials along with dozens of students from local educational institutions.

On this occasion, the Secretary General emphasized the importance of fresh water reserves such as lakes and rivers. He claimed that these ecosystems actually make the earth a place to live. He stressed the need to raise awareness among local people of the potential of such natural resources and the benefits they can bring to humanity. He emphasized the use of local materials and people in its conservation and management.

dr Mehta also noted that such places are the best tourist destinations that attract even nature lovers. He noted that our aim should be to protect them while making the most of their beauty and aesthetics. He found that this wetland, along with the nearby village of Suchetgarh, Bagh-i-Bhour, would soon become a full tourist circuit for all.

He urged stakeholders to conduct a study on ecosystem health so that conservation efforts are more targeted and result-oriented. He emphasized measures to increase the water level in the water body and the number of migratory birds that come here from distant countries. He explained that these are not only eco-friendly places, but also contribute to the local economy by attracting visitors from far away places. He stated that local people would be the greatest beneficiaries of Gharana’s development.

The Commissioner Secretary, Forests, Sanjeev Verma, noted that the department has conducted surveys of all these wetlands in terms of their importance to our biodiversity. He said the department has successfully prepared management plans for everyone. He announced that the department was in the process of obtaining them all. He revealed that in the past few years, 5 of these have been added to UNESCO’s Ramsar Sites list.

The Chief Wildlife Warden gave a detailed overview of the Gharana Eco-Spot development plan in his speech. He explained that in addition to the development of the body of water, the plan includes the development of a large park, bird watching platforms, biogas plant, cafeteria, composting facility, wallowing area, parking lot, sewage treatment plant, perches, reed plantation area and many other common facilities.

It is important to mention that the body of water attracts thousands of birds even from distant continents and offers bird lovers a great opportunity to observe them closely. Major attractions include bar-headed geese, teals, moorhens, gadwall ducks, flocks of greenshanks, purple partridges, etc.

In addition, it is noted that the number of these migratory birds remains at around 4,000 to 5,000 during the high season. Reported in 1981, the Gharana Wetland generally receives migratory birds from Central Asia, Mongolia, Russia, China and other countries around the world.

During the ceremony, the Secretary General planted the tree seedlings on site. He also presented Wildlife Awards among the winners and pledged the Ministry-designated “Wetland Mitras” for voluntarily carrying out the protection work of this body of water in cooperation with the Forest Service.

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