Wednesday, July 8, 2015

SAVE KEETHAM FOREST

This post belongs to a cause. A cause to support 'SAVE KEETHAM FOREST'! The post may resemble as a news article! I urge my readers to share their thoughts on this issue, in the comment box below!

Environmental activists in Agra are protesting against administration’s proposal of reducing the eco-sensitive zone up to the 250 meters near Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary (Keetham). Activists claimed that it will disturb the environment and can create problems for the wild animals. Activists said that woods cutting is also harmful for Taj Mahal.



In words of the activists: Is Agra going to bid goodbye to the only remaining green patch within the city limits? Don’t we have a moral ground towards animal kingdom? Plants and animals have equal right to live and Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary is their only home.

Activists raised their voice to show the importance of greenery for healthy environment. An activist Brij Khandelwal said, "Agra need this one and only green patch which is self sustainable and hosts a good number of migratory birds every year. The area is also known for its animal and reptilian species. If we’ll not oppose the proposal now, soon it will turn into a decision and then it would be hard to save the ‘Paradise of Birds’.”


District administration of Agra recently proposed a plan to reduce the area of eco-sensitive zone near Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary. Once use to be 10 kilometers now the sensitive zone to be marked only 250 meter from the core wildlife zone. Which could be life threatening for the wildlife. According to the Supreme Court norms the eco-sensitive zone around any sanctuary should be at least 5 kilometers and if the area would be reduced by 250 meter, it will not only disturb the habitat but degrade completely.

Concrete buildings are engulfing greenery within the city limit and now the buildings are shifting towards outskirts of Agra. There is nothing wrong to expend the city limits but it should be well planned and expansion should be eco-friendly. Since 1960 Keetham is suffering due to encroachment, wood cutting, animal grazing and illegal trespassers. These problems are not as harmful but reducing eco-sensitive could leave a long term negative impact. 


Environmentalists also stressed that the green patch of Keetham is important for maintaining the pollution level at Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ - it is a defined area of 10,400 sq km around the Taj Mahal to protect the monument from pollution). Air pollution near Taj Mahal is a big issue. Supreme Court already passed so many orders to maintain the greenery, to reduce the wood cutting and to balance the pollution level TTZ.


The reduction of eco-sensitive zone near Keetham will not only harmful for the sanctuary and wildlife but also for the health of the Taj city. The green patch of Keetham, works as a shield between Mathura refinery and Agra city. The pollution from the refinery is diminishes in amount due to the dense cover of tree, as trees turns most of the carbon dioxide into oxygen.

In such crucial timings when existing green patches would be neglected like this then, soon Agra would turned into a desert. Agra doesn’t need a leather park, business park or education park but the city desperately needed more trees (a real natural park) so that the environmental health of the city would remain good.

Google Satellite Image depicting the current forest cover around Keetham lake and Keetham Lake image

From the current pictures we can see that Keetham is the only green patch available near the overgrown city and villages. If the eco-sensitive would reduced more as per the proposal of the administration then we would not able to survive in near future.

Thank you for reading...

Mugdha 

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