WETLANDS OF SINDHUDURG
University of Life - Struggle to Success story
The almost 500-year old lake, which is located near the campus of Syamantak "University of Life" in Dhamapur village, is a man-made biodiversity-rich site and a tourist spot. Since centuries it is a source of drinking water for many villages around it. Trouble began for the lake in 2014 when the district administration initiated the construction of a skywalk consisitng 1600 concrete pillars in the lake, which was built in 1530, and is spread over an area of 43.80 hectares as per the latest report of the water resources department. Syamantak "UOL" Interns did a detail study of the lake and raised an objection to the construction activity. As per the Wetlands Conservation and Managments Rules and rulings of various courts, construction is not allowed with in 75 meters of a wetland. After fighting a battle with the administration of Sindhudurg for over a year, the young Inern of UOL pursuing law studies filed a environment litigation in National Green Tribunal (West Zone).
The wetland inventory prepared by Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Center mapped Dhamapur lake as a wetland.The Interns of "UOL" conducted a study on the flora and fauna under the expert guidance of eminant botanist and texanomic Dr. Balkrishna Gawde, discocoverd 134 plant species out of which 23 are rare and three endangered as per the International Union for conservation of Nature.
The state goverment has now begun its very first survey of wetlands in Maharashtra. launched from Sindhudurg and to be eventually extended across the state, it will collect data on the biodiversity of these crucial ecological features and aid their conservation. Syamantak organisation was invited by the District administration to guide the officials on breif documentation of wetlands, and issues related to conservation and violoation of wetland rules. To 'ground-truth' the satellite mapping of these wetlands, officials will visit the sites and geo tag their locations. As per the recommendation given by Syamantak there will be community participation in recording ecological details like the floral and faunal species, aqatic vegetation, use of water, its depth, hydrology, pH value, and soil texture. Thus activities that can imperil these ecosystem will also be identified and curbed.
Times of India_march 17, 2018
Times of India_april 05, 2018
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