Exclusion zones of N-power sites turn into bird sanctuaries

Can a nuclear power plant be a bird sanctuary? `Yes`, says the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL).

Mumbai: Can a nuclear power plant be a bird
sanctuary? `Yes`, says the Nuclear Power Corporation of India

Its endeavour to afforest the exclusion zones at seven
nuclear plants, where no human habitation is allowed, and has
scientifically enriched plantation is also attracting over 160
spices of birds and animals.

The NPCIL has come out with a 235-page-coffee-table book
depicting the rich biodiversity in these sanctuaries.
"As NPCIL`s plants are located nationwide, the book `Our
Flying Guests` released under the Environment Stewardship
Programme (ESP) showcases diversity of birds in India, both
local and migratory," J Devaprakash, one of the authors told
agency today on the eve of World Environment Day.

Not only birds, but the entire ecosystem is intricately
interdependent on each other in these exclusion zones of 1.6
km radius in each of the nuclear plant sites, he said.

The book with colorful illustrations of birds was
conceptualised researched and produced by the late A I
Siddiqui, DGM corporate communication and J Devaprakash,
Deputy Manager (Mass Media)of NPCIL.

Though the book concentrated on birds of the Exclusion
zones at all the N-plant sites - at Uttar Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka,
"the abundant biodiversity and the rich ecosystems in all
these regions are a feast to the eyes" he said. Some of the
birds residing in the N-plant sites are Large
Cormorant, Little Cormorant (P.niger), Large Egret (Egretta
alba), Peacocks, Grey Francolin, Black winged Stilt and
Sirkeer Malkoha.

However, some of them restricted to a specific plant site
like Snake birds in Madras Atomic Power station and Kudankulam
power station in Tamil Nadu, Little Grebe (Kaiga) in
Karnataka, spot-billed Pelican (pelicanus philipensis), a near
threatened species found in Narora atomic power station in UP
and MAPS and KKNPP in Tamil Nadu, Devprakash said.

NPCIL chairman and Managing Director Dr S K Jain said,
"the flora in these zones attracting the avifauna (birds) is a
testimony to the `clean and harmless` nature of the N-plants
as birds have chosen to reside permanently here with mammals
and reptiles, butterflies and insects shrubs."
"As we move towards augmenting our power generation, we
are committed as ever to cherish this harmony with nature,"
Jain said.

Describing the involvement of NPCIL under its environment
stewardship programme, the Harrier Nature Club at Tarapur
Atomic Power Station has established under the ESP initiative
was named after a bird `Pallid Harrier` often spotted at
Tarapur, Devaprakash said.

"You can find nests of Grey Heron, Little Cormorant,
Black-crowned Heron and Large Egret within the exclusion zone
of station at Rajasthan," he said.

RAPS nature club has reported sighting the nests of
Black-headed Ibis for the first time in this region, he said.

The Exclusion Zone wetlands of Narora Atomic power
station provide a nesting place for the avian fauna found

The Exclusion zones in all the power plant sites are
scientifically enriched with plantation of a large number of
trees creating an ideal condition for sustainable ecosystem.

Under ESP of NPCIL, a Butterfly Garden has been
established in Kakrapar Atomic Power Station within the
Exclusion zone recently, S Thakur, Executive Director,
corporate planning said.

The area of the Butterfly Garden (open garden) at KAPS
is about 3000 sq metres. About 2500 plants of 64 various
species were planted.
The plants include flowering plants, nectar plants, host
plants and creepers. The project was implemented by Nature
Club, Surat.

"We are waiting for the monsoon to be over to assess
the success of the butterfly garden and then it will be
replicated in all the plant sites across the country," NPCIL
officials from Kakrapar said.


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