The New Indian Express | Locals choose biodiversity over theme park

Mar 09,2020

Over 100 residents of Dwarka sub-city gathered at Bharat Vandana Udyaan (park) in Sector 20 on Sunday to fill a water hole for the animals and birds in the area to drink from.Diwan Singh, a resident and environment activist, said the mammals and birds in the vicinity are forced to drink from the nearby sewage drain during the summer

According to Singh, the residents came together to protect the biodiversity which they fear is at risk due to a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) proposal to turn the area into an amusement park. To be modelled on the ancient Harappan cities, the proposed park will not only cater to the recreational needs of the people,  but is also touted to be a place for artists to showcase their talents.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Urban Affairs Minsiters Hardeep Singh Puri announced the project in December. “We have been petitioning DDA and the LG since 2014. The residents want this area developed as a biodiversity park like Aravali biodiversity park in Vasant Vihar,” he said.

According to Singh, the park is home to species such as neelgai, peacocks, monitor lizard, Indian hare, flapshell turtle, jackals and 70 types of birds. “Over 1,000 flights take off daily from IGI airport and non-stop traffic movement is witnessed from west, north Delhi to Gurgaon which affects the air quality of the area. In such a situation converting a green area into an amusement park will affect the quality of life in Dwarka. With a proposed parking facility for 1,700 cars, the park would invite a huge footfall and further worsen the traffic situation,” said Sumit Dookia, a wildlife biologist.

Home to several species
As per Diwan Singh, a resident, the park houses neelgais, peacocks, monitor lizards, Indian hares, flapshell turtles, jackals and 70 types of birds.

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