GREATER NOIDA: At a time when the Greater Noida Authority is working on plans to develop the Surajpur forest area into an ecological park, people who own land close to the boundary of the main entrance have anticipated a price boom and begun construction there. Boundary walls and houses have sprung up on either side of the trail leading to the upcoming park, forcing authorities to look for an alternative, less congested entrance to the area.
The Greater Noida Authority, so far, has failed to acquire the land from the owners. "Ever since they got to know that an eco-park is going to come up, they have started construction. We have not been able to acquire this land. So we are planning an alternate entry to the park," a senior GNIDA official said.
Another trail off Dadri road is now being planned as the main entry to the park. However, the construction is booming on the end closest to the wetland, where the bird population arrives to roost.
"Surajpur wetland is a reserved forest, so it does not fall under an eco-sensitive zone. We cannot do much to prevent constructions adjacent to the area," said K K Singh, DFO, Gautam Budh Nagar. "The matter can only be addressed by the GNIDA now," he added.
The mega development project, worth Rs 100 crore, of which the Surajpur wetland is a part, is expected to transform the dry land around the Surajpur wet body into a terrestrial bird habitat.
Expanses of keeker and wild grass are being removed and bird-friendly trees are being planted. "We are going to plant trees which are suitable for bird habitat. This will enrich the terrestrial bird population here. We have already planted over 1.5 lakh trees," another GNIDA official said.