To mark the World Wetlands Day - a United Nations environment programme - on February 2, the Forest Department, Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB), Coimbatore Corporation and Centre for Urban Biodiversity Conservation and Education (CUBE) jointly organised an awareness rally and sapling planting programme along Singanallur Lake here.
District Forest Officer T. K. Ashok Kumar, conservator of Forests S. Ramasubramanian, IFGTB Director C. Kunhikannan, Corporation Commissioner and CUBE president M. Prathap, Police Commissioner V. Balakrishnan and Mayor A. Kalpana took part in several programmes.
To encourage forest conservation volunteers, officials issued identity cards to about 10 ‘Wetland Mithras‘ (Friends of Wetlands). Prizes were distributed to the Corporation and private school children who won the essay and painting competitions, held on February 1, themed ‘Wetlands and Human’.
Palm saplings were planted on the banks of the lake and a cycle rally was flagged off in which over 150 school students and people took part to raise awareness on the importance of wetlands.
Mr. Ramasubramanian said Singanallur was fit enough to be declared a bird sanctuary. “We are planning to create favourable conditions, such as planting saplings so that the area becomes a nesting ground for birds.” Plans to announce the area as ‘Conservation Reserve’ was under consideration, he added.