Did you know that Puneities don’t have to travel far to see a bird sanctuary? I have lived in Pune for almost 6 years now and like most citizens of the city, I didn’t know about this place either. It’s in Yerwada near Gunjan Corner which happens to be beside one of the busiest roads. The entrance is common for Hindu crematorium, just take a left to reach the park and yes, it is free of charge!
I went to Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary on a Sunday of Jan 2019. Located on the banks of the Mula Mutha River between the Bund Garden bridge and the Kalyani Nagar bridge. It attracts migratory birds all the way from Siberia. With over 100 bird and 11 butterfly species which have been spotted here, it truly is a paradise for bird lovers and nature enthusiasts.
The place, however, is in a dire state of neglect by the government bodies and it needs preservation. To add to all this, there is a dumping ground just beside it which adds to the problems. There are some responsible groups which are helping in the maintenance of the park one of them is lead by Dharamaraj Patil who is a ornithologist and also is environmental activist.
The issue now is bigger than before as the PMC has proposed a plan to make a road which will pass through the park. This means that in the near future we may not witness as many varieties of birds due to noise pollution caused by the construction activities of the proposed road widening work. In fact, I was shocked to see almost 150 trees which were cut to make the way for the road, I’m sure many more would be axed.
A Painting campaign was organized by Abha Bhagwat which was aimed to create awareness among citizens about the need for conservation of the park.
Many people along with kids participated here. I was thrilled to see the enthusiasm.
With this post, I want to show solidarity with the protestants and let people know about this place so that they too can join us in saving the area in some or the other way.
Some References about the said construction
1 . https://www.thebetterindia.com/167005/pune-environment-protection-bird-sanctuary-salim-ali/