Saturday, August 19, 2023

Centre for animals hit by airport project to come up near Dhanauri

Noida: The Yamuna Expressway Authority will construct a rescue and rehabilitation centre for the animals affected by the Noida International Airport in Jewar.

The centre, which is set to come up on 10 hectares near Dhanauri wetland at a cost of Rs 4.5 crore, was to be built by the forest department earlier. It will include a veterinary hospital, quarantine centre and enclosures for various animals, including blackbucks, nilgais and monkeys, among others.

Additionally, Rs 90 lakh will be allocated for Dhanauri wetland’s conservation efforts, encompassing grassland management, removal of wild growth from water bodies and the construction of wooden watchtowers, natural trails and floating platforms for migratory birds. The combined project cost of Rs 5.4 crore will be borne by the shareholders of Noida International Airport Ltd (NIAL), a special purpose vehicle of the government for the airport.

Previously, the NIAL was supposed to fund the construction of the centre while the management of the project was to be overseen by the forest department.

YEIDA and NIAL CEO Arun Vir Singh said, “A meeting with senior officials of the UP forest department was held on August 14, in which it was decided that YEIDA will execute the project. As soon as we receive the written order, the Yamuna Authority will start the work. The rescue centre will be ready before the airport becomes operational.”

Nilgai, blackbuck, Indian gazelle, monkeys, golden jackals, jungle cats and sarus cranes are present in and around the project site. The Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, which has prepared a biodiversity conservation plan, suggested that a rescue centre be set up to rehabilitate the affected fauna.

As per the WII report, blackbucks and sarus cranes are the two key species found on the land acquired for the international airport. A survey of the 1,334 hectares, where the first phase of the airport is coming up, and an adjacent 10km to 25km radius of the area found 258 blackbucks. They recorded the largest group of 29 blackbucks on the south-eastern part of the airport, close to Rohi-Parohi villages.

19/08/2023 Aditya Dev & Anjali Singh/Times of India

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