Calling COVID-19 a "boon in disguise" for nature, environmentalist Ajay Kumar Sharma urged the state government on Friday to make the best of time and restore the water tank with the help of the local labourers, here at Vajpayee Layout near Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka and also save it from being encroached by the Shivamogga Urban Development Authority.
With no human intervention during the coronavirus lockdown, the tank has rejuvenated itself. Spread across eight acres, it belongs to the forest department.
"Like PM Modi has been endorsing swadeshi mantra, Karnataka government should follow suit. It could solve three purposes. Firstly, this water tank can be converted into a biodiversity spot. Secondly, local labour can be given jobs through MNREGA scheme to help with this project. Thirdly, because of the impending monsoon, the tank will fill itself otherwise we have to wait for one year. This is the best time to take this step," Sharma explained to ANI.
To inspect the encroachment by the Shivamogga Urban Development Authority, Anant Hegde Ashisar, chairman of Karnataka Biodiversity Board, visited the tank, along with the Forest Department officials and environmentalists on World Biodiversity Day (May 22).
" Ashisar has told us that he would make sure that the tank and adjacent park is converted into a mini forest to enhance the biodiversity of the area," added Sharma.
"Most of the tanks in Shivamogga are sewage pools. They have been used for dumping construction waste. But thanks to the lockdown, this tank is breathing again," Sharma concluded.
Many animals such as cows, buffaloes and birds depend on the tank for drinking water. (ANI)