October 15, 2015
The work carried out by the Coimbatore City Corporation to revive the Valankulam tank seems to be working as the number of birds visiting the tank has increased recently.
Situated in the heart of the city, the tank is one of the largest water bodies in Coimbatore and this wate4boy has helped in ground water recharge in nearby areas to a reasonable level. The tank was a source of water to number of birds including Little Grebe, Little Cormorant, Little Egret, Spot Billed Pelican, Purple Heron, Black Crowned Night Heron, Common Coote, Purple Moorhen and White Breasted Water hen and a breeding spot to the Spotted Billed Duck and Common Coote according to bird census data. According to the data, as many as 64 birds were found in and around the lake.
However, according to corporation sources, the lake was filled with encroachments on the bunds. The dumping of construction and debris waste on the bunds and the increase in proliferation of water hyacinth in the lake was a challenge for the corporation officials and the NGOs who were monitoring the lake and the water in the tank gradually decreased and almost went dry recently.
However, the encroachments were evicted by the corporation in order to lay a road on the tank bund. But the weeding of the dense water hyacinth continued to be an issue and several attempts made were turning futile.
K.Kalidas, President of OSAI, an NGO involved in environment conservation said that water hyacinth grows in sewage water and it is hard to stop its proliferation unless the sewage discharge into the tank is stopped. “The corporation officials should treat the water before it is discharged into the tank.”
He informed that this is also a reason behind the decrease in the number of birds visiting the tank.
However, corporation officials have been clearing the weeds from the tank for the past three weeks and are planting Karuvelam plants to help birds. This has proved worthy since the number of birds has gradually increased over the days.
Besides the common birds including Spot Billed Duck, Common Coote, Spot Billed Pelican and Purple Herons, Covai Post also spotted a flock of the Lesser Whistling Ducks in the tank and with the migratory season just around the corner, more birds are expected to visit the tank.
K.Mohan Raj from the Save Coimbatore Wetlands said that the planting of saplings around the tank by the forest department would also help in the roosting of birds. He added that the arrival of birds would also develop the bio diversity of the tank.