Kolkata wetland patch transformed into bird-watching hub

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Kolkata, Jan 2 (IANS) Now, you can go bird-watching even in a concrete jungle. A restored patch of wetland termed ‘Pakhibitan’ (expanse of birds) within the eco-tourism hotspot Eco Park here will help you re-connect with nature and feathered friends.

Launched on Saturday, Pakhibitan is located on a five-acre spot inside the 460-acre Eco Park at New Town in suburban Kolkata.

To facilitate return of a variety of bird species such as bitterns, grassbirds and cuckoos, NGO People United for Better Living in Calcutta (PUBLIC), supported by the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO), has spearheaded restoration measures without altering the environment.

“It is a demonstration how nature can regenerate. We have turned the clock back a bit by putting in flora, fauna, grasses, fish, feeders, perches and made it more attractive for birds to return. It is an opportunity for us to re-connect with nature,” Pradip Kakkar of PUBLIC told IANS.

Draped in greenery, the ‘mini-marsh’ has a bamboo walkway leading to a hide (also fabricated from bamboo) where one can sit and observe birds and their interactions with nature.

“This is unique as it’s a first kind where restoration has been attempted. We are trying to popularise it amongst students, schools and also the builder community,” added Kakkar.

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