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Documentary on ecological revival at two Karnataka dams screened

Bengaluru, June 5 (IANS) Marking the World Environment Day, an environment trust on Wednesday screened a documentary on ecological revival at two dams in Karnataka in order to spread awareness on preserving the natural habitat for native and migratory birds.

“The documentary ‘The Krishna Cosmic Circle of Life – a Divine co-existence of Man and Nature’ highlights the ecological resurgence at Almatti and Narayanapura dams in the state’s northern region as important avifaunal sites in India, said Maya Films & Bangalore Environment Trust in a statement here.

Both dams are built across Krishna river in Vijayapura district to preserve rain-fed water for irrigation, drinking water and hydro-power generation.

“The documentary is meant to get the habitat declared as a Ramsar site, as it meets the criterial of Ramsar Convention as a unique wetland,” said Trust founder and director Maya Chandra.

The Ramsar Convention on wetlands as waterfowl habitats is an international treaty signed by 169 countries on February 2, 1971 at Iran’s Ramsar for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.

The 1,400-km long Krishna river originates near the west coast in Maharashtra and meanders through Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh before its water flows into the Bay of Bengal on the east coast.

Though the river, a lifeline of north Karnataka, has been a source of food for the birds and other fauna owing to the natural dampness of the land, unchecked deforestation and human activities have turned the soil saline in the recent past.

“Ever since the twin dams were built, they have converted the backwaters as a new wetland ecosystem, attracting new and more birds, including flamingos, geese, gulls, godwits, ibis and pratincoles to the scenic spot,” said Chandra.

On conserving the ecosystem, noted environmentalist A.N. Yellappa Reddy said though the dams were built, displacing the natural features of the region, nature had adapted to the changes and the land evolved as a wetland fulfilling the Ramsar guidelines.

“The eco region is attracting a lot of migrating birds to the location and making it a favourable tourist destination. But action is required to mitigate the threat to the fragile ecology for preserving the wetland,” said Reddy at the event.

Veteran Congress leader and former minister H.K. Patil, who hails from the region, Bangalore University Vice-Chancellor Venugopal and National Law School chair professor M.K. Ramesh were present at the event.

–IANS

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