Indore: Working like kidney, wetlands filter environment but playing smart, cities are eliminating their purification function by commercialising them, explained Dr SL Garg during a discussion session at Sirpur Lake and Bird Sanctuary, organised by The Nature Volunteers.

Explaining wetlands, Garg said, “We are blessed with wetlands in Indore, but we have already destroyed most of them and the only one surviving till date is Sirpur lake.” He explained that wetlands are saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem.

“Having an area that is saturated with water throughout the year, an ecosystem that purifies the environment around our city is a blessing but all we care about is commercial gains!” Garg said. He elaborated that Indore Development Authority (IDA) is planning to make colonies and sell the land around Sirpur lake.

“We have already lost Bilawali lake, destroyed ecosystem of Pipliyana lake, Sirpur Lake is all we have left to keep our environment healthy,” Garg said. He explained that wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability.

Elaborating on Pipilyana lake’s condition, Garg said, “We had a healthy ecosystem with rich biodiversity there but with so much human activity, nature cannot survive in its normal state.” Urging people to understand nature as life, he explained that like human beings even nature needs peace and space to flourish.

“Wetlands are doing so much for us by just being there, but humans are so greedy that they can’t even give them place! Sirpur is asking for 800 acre land and nothing else,” Garg said. Sharing statistics, he mentioned that 28 per cent of population in India is living in cities right now and over 60 per cent is expected to live in cities by 2050.

“With everyone living in smart cities and nothing for nature, how do we plan to get water and food?” Garg questioned. Worried about the future, he talked about debt using which we are building smart city and eliminating ecology around.

Guest of honour retired BARC scientist prof Swapan Bhattacharjee also shared his opinion and quoted importance of wetlands. Environmentalists Bhalu Mondhe and Dev Kumar Vasudevan promoted the cause and requested support for saving the lake.

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