Cyclone Nilam may have replenished the Vedanthangal tank and boosted the nesting and breeding of migratory birds but the issue of water levels remains a serious problem. Forest department officials say that nearly 30,000 winged visitors including pelicans come to the tank every year during the breeding season between October and March. This year, there has been quite a substantial number of birds but the release of water from the tank for agricultural and allied reasons has meant there is not enough water for the birds. Officials hope there will be one more spell of rains that will replenish the 30-hectare tank.
The sight of visiting birds providing a ‘white cover’ to the vegetation within the tank has almost become a thing of past, an official said and added that the rise of industrial activity in the vicinity of the bird sanctuary was all set to create further problems for the sanctuary.
Meanwhile, the spurt in the number of birds in time for the Deepavali holidays also led to a huge inflow of visitors. The Forest Department earned around Rs. 18,000 as entry fee and charge for bringing in gadgets.
A sum of Rs.25 was charged for carrying camera into the protected area and Rs.75 for video recording gadgets. Entry fee for adults and children was pegged at Rs.5 and Rs.2, respectively. However, bird watchers who had not brought cameras or did not have the money to bring cameras were left high and dry as the binoculars mounted on a pedestal, which got damaged years ago, is yet to be replaced by the authorities.