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The birds are back at Gujjarakere

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BACK TO LIFE:With the city corporation having started the restoration work, water can now be seen in the Gujjarakere at Jeppu in Mangalore.
BACK TO LIFE:With the city corporation having started the restoration work, water can now be seen in the Gujjarakere at Jeppu in Mangalore.

Special Correspondent

Weeds have been removed from the tank

MANGALORE: After a gap of several years, white cranes have begun to flock to the Gujjarakere in Jeppu.A small flock of great white egrets, locally known as Kokkare in Kannada and Korngu in Tulu, can be seen around the tank during most part of the day. They fly off to nearby trees in the evening. “They come here around 4 p.m. and stay till morning,” said P. Nemu Kottari, a resident of Jeppu and secretary of the Gujjarakere Tirtha Samrakshana Vedike, which has been fighting for the restoration of the tank for a decade now.

“They are not around when it is hot. These birds come to eat small insects. They are known to hunt for small fish as well,” he said.

According to Mr. Kottari, this tank can be developed into a small bird sanctuary. He hoped that the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) would consider such a move as it had recently taken up restoration of the tank.

Mr. Kottari said that the civic body had removed weeds from the tank and the water was now visible.

Problems remain

Although a wall is being built around the tank at a cost of Rs. 3 crore, the old problems still persist. Residents point out that MCC is yet to provide infrastructure to divert the drainage presently being let into the tank. Mr. Kottari said that a drainage line from Morgan Gate side has also been connected to the tank.

Rain on Saturday morning here led to a huge quantity of dirty water from a nearby drainage line entering the tank, according to Mr. Kottari. Dirt from Jeppu market chokes a manhole near the tank every time it rains and a vent leading towards the tank brought sewage into it. This vent should be closed, Mr. Kottari demanded. “Growth of weeds cannot be stopped unless sewage is stopped from entering the tank,” he said.

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