Berwala Bird Safari, once a paradise for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers, is lying in a shambles. Constructed in 2004, the safari is located within Khol-Hai Raitan Wildlife Sanctuary. Sources in the district wildlife department maintain that no maintenance work took place at the safari in the last two years. The last partial maintenance work happened when two nature trails were cleaned and marked in 2017.
Former chief wildlife warden, Haryana, Dr R D Jakati, along with naturalist Lt Gen Baljeet Singh (Retd), a member of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), were credited for the construction of this safari.
There are two tin sheds for visitors, which are in a dilapidated condition. A wooden machan, which was made on the bough of a huge banyan tree, has gone missing. The middle portion of the wooden signboard depicting Berwala Bird Safari is lying on the ground. The machan was set up for bird enthusiasts to enjoy birding and photography sitting on the opposite side of two shallow water bodies at the safari. There was no way to access one of the tin sheds situated on another bank of one of the water bodies at the safari.
The Divisional Wildlife Officer, Panchkula, Shyam Sunder Sharma, says, “I will visit the safari personally within days. I was posted here recently. Indeed, during the monsoon, wild growth grows and spreads everywhere. We will definitely clean it and make it more attractive. Beautification of some spots in this region is on our agenda.”
Sources say that no maintenance work at the only bird safari located in the Morni hills took place in the last two years. In 2017, the forest department had cleaned and marked the two nature trails, which are on the two hills, between which the safari is located. Now it is difficult to judge the exact trails due to non-maintenance.
When contacted, Lt Gen (Retd) Baljeet Singh said, “The wildlife is being hounded across the country. This (Berwala Bird Safari) is not exceptional. The priorities of the government, forest department and even of the forest officials have changed a lot over the past many years. The location of the safari was selected by mine. A bird safari needs regular plantation, maintenance of water bodies, bio-diversity for attracting the birds in their natural habitats.”
Rajiv Sharma, a frequent visitor to the safari, said, “Apparently, there is a lack of enthusiasm in the local forest department towards this place.”
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