Quack alert! Ducks to take over Lodhi Gar­den

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - [email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: The area around the ar­ti­fi­cial lake in Lodhi Gar­den is not only go­ing to look more beau­ti­ful soon, but it will also be home to more species of ducks.

Biore­me­di­a­tion, us­ing mi­crobes and nat­u­ral en­zymes, will be em­ployed to con­trol any foul smell and growth of harm­ful al­gae, while the col­lected sludge will be taken out and con­verted to com­post in a month. But more im­por­tantly, to de­velop the lake into a “duck park”, New Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil will be in­tro­duc­ing new species of ducks at the pond, mak­ing en­clo­sures to pro­tect these birds from stray an­i­mals and con­struct­ing wooden coops for the ducks to lay their eggs and raise chicks in the com­ing months.

“Two weeks ago, NDMC chair­man Vi­jay Ku­mar Dev and sec­re­tary Rashmi Singh vi

DUCKTALES: sited the area and were happy to di­rect im­proved ar­range­ments for rear­ing ducks since the place is quite pop­u­lar with vis­i­tors,” said an NDMC of­fi­cial.

The of­fi­cial added, “Though we have al­ready cre­ated an en­clo­sure with wooden stakes, we are plan­ning to take a few other steps to pro­tect the ducks and their eggs from preda­tors and other haz­ards. We have also cre­ated a stock of medicines to make sure that they are kept healthy and free of in­fec­tions. In fact, these ef­forts have also started at­tract­ing other mi­gra­tory birds.”

The ducks breed in win­ter and most make their nest on an is­land con­structed in the mid­dle of the lake to pro­tect them from mam­mals. An­other wooden struc­ture has now been put up to en­sure the eggs are safe from harm and any in­clement weather.

There is also a plan to in­stall boards at the en­trance of the duck en­clo­sure to restrict en­try of vis­i­tors with pets to pre­vent scar­ing the wa­ter birds. “We will also re­quest peo­ple to stop feed­ing the ducks junk and oily food and thus to en­sure a nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment for them,” said the of­fi­cial.

The work on the re­ju­ve­na­tion of the lake, us­ing the biore­me­di­a­tion method, has al­ready started. With the im­ple­men­ta­tion of this project, there will be no need to dry out the lake once a year to clean it.

To im­prove the aes­thet­ics of the pop­u­lar park, NDMC also plans to in­crease the num­ber of foun­tains there. Cur­rently, Lodhi Gar­den has two foun­tains. The civic of­fi­cial dis­closed that three more would come up and they would be equipped with LED lights. The lake is spread over 6,712 sq me­tres and is 1-4 feet deep. At its fullest, it is ca­pa­ble of hold­ing around 50 lakh litres of wa­ter.

Piyal Bhat­tachar­jee

Au­thor­i­ties have made ar­range­ments to pro­tect the ducks and their eggs from preda­tors

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