Rain revives hopes of resuming activities like boating in the pond
Surrounded by a rich canopy of greens, Kambalakonda Eco-Tourism Park is perhaps the only place in the city that boasts of a rich bio-diversity in the heart of the concrete jungle. However, lack of proper rains in the past two years had an adverse effect on its flora and fauna. While several activities in the past like boating and adventure sports like river crossing had made the place quite popular, the drying up of the pond had put a halt in all the activities as the sanctuary encountered the most severe water scarcity this year. Its only source of water, the water body inside the park went totally dry in the month of February this year.
But the recent rains have brought some cheer to the Park with an increase in the water levels of the pond. The park, spread across 7,139 hectares of area, is a haven of versatile flora and fauna representing the Eastern Ghats. Officials are hopeful of resuming boating activities if the region receives another good spell of rain this month.
Drop in sightings
According to forest officials, there was a 39 per cent shortage of rainfall reported in Visakhapatnam district last year. Sightings of wild animals had dropped drastically this summer following the drying up of water source inside the forest. According to the forest guards of the sanctuary, panthers were sighted four to five times a month on an average. But since the past three months, no panther movement was reported.
With July bringing in good rains in the region, they are optimistic of starting activities in the Park that has seen a lull period for over two years now.
However, one of the other challenges before the forest department now is to stop the water seepage and conserve the rain water coming from the catchment area in the pond. More than 90 per cent of the water is lost in seepage, evaporation and run-off to the sea.
Unless, water conservation measures are put in place with immediate effect, lack of adequate water resources can have an adverse effect on the ecological balance resulting in migration of the bird and animal population of the region.