Jaipur: The Rajasthan government has declared the area surrounding the Keoladeo National Park as a `silent zone` to provide a serene habitat to the park`s birds, officials said Friday.
Loud noise of any kind had been banned up to 500 metres around the periphery of the park, also known as the Ghana Bird Sanctuary, they said.
"We had been receiving complaints about noise pollution not only during daytime but also during the nights. The noise comes from hotels, guest houses and marriage venues surrounding the park. We had sent a request to the forest department`s principal secretary to declare the area surrounding the park a silent zone," a senior officer of the Bharatpur district administration told IANS.
The officer said the administration received the nod a few days ago following which District Collector Gaurav Goyal issued the notification Thursday evening.
"Bursting of fire crackers, blowing horns, playing loudspeakers and music through any instrument will draw punishment under sections of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000," said the officer.
Welcoming the decision, wildlife experts said it would go a long way in ensuring a safe and serene habitat to the birds in the park.
"The decision should have been taken a long time back. The number of birds is already on the decline in the park. Apart from scarcity of water, noise pollution in the surrounding areas was also a reason for the decrease in arrival of migratory birds," said wildlife expert Babulal Jaju.
Encompassing a lake and wetlands, the park is spread over an area of 28.72 sq km and has over 380 varieties of resident and migrant birds. It was created by the Maharaja of Bharatpur in the 19th century. The area, designated as the Keoladeo Ghana Sanctuary in 1965, was upgraded to Keoladeo National Park in 1981. The park is about 170 km from state capital Jaipur.