Famed Shalbugh wetland turns into 'WASTELAND'

Famed Shalbugh wetland turns into 'WASTELAND'

Migratory birds stay away  Authorities fail in arrangements

The famous Shalbugh wetland in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district has virtually turned into a ‘wasteland’ due to the lackadaisical approach of the Wildlife Department concerned.

Its deteriorating condition has kept the migratory birds from it as according to locals not a single bird was seen in this wetland this year.

“This wetland would host lakhs of avian birds every year and remained crowded. The migratory birds traveled thousands of miles from far off Siberia, Eastern Europe, China, Japan and Philippine to the Valley to ward off the extreme cold. These included Teals, Mallards, Brahminy Duck, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, common pock hard, Grey legged geese, and others. 

“However, the Shalbugh wetland spread over hundreds of kanals presently wears a deserted look with no migratory bird around, though flock of sheep and other animals can be seen grazing in the dry fields. 

“The department concerned has failed to provide a feasible ambience to these avian guests and no measures have been taken to maintain sufficient water level in the wetland,” locals said.

According to experts the department needs to build embankments of the wetland to ensure that the water level is adequately maintained. “Supervision and maintenance are essential to ensure that the avian visitors remain healthy and fit to feed and fend inside the water body. However, no such steps have been taken by the department,” they said. 

Sources alleged the employees posted at the wetland for its look after don’t attend to their duties. 

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Wildlife Warden (Wetlands) Rouf Ahmed Zargar acknowledged that the department took no measures to ensure the arrival of the migratory birds to this wetland. “We are yet to build embankments, maintain water level, and other necessary things that will provide a feasible environment to the avian guests,” he said, adding that there were some issues with the locals which led to the delay in the process. 

He said in the next week they will ensure that all the required measures are taken to host migratory birds.