By Times of India – Lockdown effect: Aravali park chirps back to life GURUGRAM: The lockdown, which was extended in phases, has hit the economy hard, but here’s a silver lining. The shutdown has come as a much-needed relief for the flora and fauna at the city’s 154-hectare Aravali Biodiversity Park. From the Indian robin to the purple sunbird, several migratory and native birds have been spotted at the park over the past few weeks, bringing cheers among birders and environmentalists. What has aided their migration is the reduced traffic, which has brought down air and noise pollution levels. “There should be a detailed study to quantify the impact of the lockdown and reduced disturbances on flora and fauna. Not just at the biodiversity park here but even in gardens and parks scattered across the city. We can expect much better breeding of birds, given that the lockdown brought down the disturbances during the peak season. This should translate into reducing the damages that have been done to the environment,” said Pankaj Gupta, a birder. Over the past few weeks, birders have captured images of the purple sunbird, laughing dove, ashy prinia, Indian robin, among others. Besides birds, images of amaltas in full bloom have also been captured. “I visited the park as often as I could because I had to take care of a few new saplings that were planted there. I captured images of flora and fauna. For over a decade, this park has developed into a natural forest as the stress was always on native plantation rather than ornamental. The advantage of native plantation is that it promotes breeding of several organisms — from birds to mammals and reptiles to amphibians. And the lockdown did give time to many to appreciate this biodiversity,” said Colonel Shailendra Singh. Latika Thukral, the founder of I am Gurugram, said the park is expected to open on July 1. The Aravali park has been at the centre of several protests. In the past, an NHAI road project, in consultation with GMDA, that would have cut through the park, had evoked widespread protests. The project was eventually put on hold.

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