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Nature @ IITB – Conservation program



Nature @ IITB – Conservation program



IITBombay campus hosts a wide variety of flora and fauna on the campus. The major reasons for sustained wild life on campus are the location and healthy eco-system. The 550 acre campus boundaries are shared with Sanjay Gandhi National park and Powai Lake. Campus is full of variety of climbers, shrubs and plants. Some patches of the campus are still away from human indulgence. All this is the right mixture for wild life to sustain for years.  In recent time, vegetated land is being utilized to erect infrastructure to meet the increased student intake. This has partly destroyed the natural eco-system in some part of the campus, especially in old medical garden. Also, many activities and policies are unknowingly followed, which may add to the harm done to the nature around the campus.

Commander
In order to save the wild life in the campus, a conservation program was drafted by some nature enthusiast on the campus; the preliminary group includes Prof. M.B. Patil (Electrical department), Krishnapriya, Paresh Kale (Research scholar, ESE Dept), Abhay Soman, Swapnil Lokhande (Research scholar, Mathematics Dept) and Yugbala. The group is concerned with the conservation, documentation and awareness related issues regarding wild-life on the campus. Group has agreed on some critical issues to be sorted out to make this program successful. The details of which are:






Policy Making:

1.      Declaring lake side road a ‘Plastic and alcohol free zone’: It has been observed that residents come their regularly to take alcohol. This plastic appears in terms of packed food, cigarette packets, glasses and alcohol bottles.  ‘Plastic’ is the major source of pollution in the eco-system on lake side is our observation.
2.      Closing the lake-side road for vehicles: We propose to close down the lake-side road for motor-able vehicles. Such prohibition will keep the wild life undisturbed and system pollution-free. It will also encourage the residents to walk and watch the nature. It has been also observed that, drivers over-speed the vehicle in this part. This could lead to fatal accidents.
3.      Keeping the road side space intact: Space 10 feet on either side of the road is vital for many species as their habitat. Butterfly host plants are generally found alongside the road. Complete clearing of the place ceases the possibilities for the plants to grow and subsequently butterfly could not find plants to lay eggs. The major victims the problem are Common Nawab, Tawnycoster, Plain cupid, Apefly etc. Even some birds use roadside perches to build the nest. It was observed that a rare species, ‘Rufous bellied babler’, failed to build the nest four times in a row due to repeated clearing of the space.

Sita Ashok
Plantation and related activities: Our campus hosts variety of the plants, shrubs and climbers. It includes many rare plants such as garlic pears tree, canon ball tree etc. New plantation done last year was cleverly done; planting many native and important plants such as tamarind, amla, kailaspati and many others. This year we should plant more of fruit baring trees to diversify the plant variety further. Fruit plants attract mostly the birds. Some of them are also host plants for the butterflies. The plants will be watered by the students voluntarily in the pre-monsoon period. The list of the plants to be planted as a part of proposed butterfly garden and tree plantation activity is at the end of this document. Plants will be procured from Maharashtra Nature Park / SGNP and other private nurseries.


Documentation:  A survey on wild life in IITB campus was done earlier by WWF. Report for the same, titled “Study of the Biodiversity of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay Campus” by World Wide Fund for Nature -India, Maharashtra State Office, Mumbai can be found here. Apart from this report, some faculty and students have recorded the data individually, as a personal interest. Butterfly list can be found here. This data can be integrated and formatted to ultimately publish it on blog/website/facebook page etc.

Proposal of Butterfly garden: A small butterfly garden is proposed near lake side gate towards old guest house. Butterfly garden will be a streamlined activity towards making the campaign sustained. Reasons to choose this place are as follows: Approachable, closed space, always guarded, near to hill side. Here flowering plants (for butterflies to nector) and host plants can be planted. Such garden will also add to beauty of the campus.

Awareness creation: To make the nature campaign sustainable at IIT, the residents must be involved in the activity. Here target audience could be any nature lover - resident of IITB or related to IITB. The involvement can be increased only with a strong and streamlined awareness program. Awareness related to nature at IIT Bombay and the related activities can
be spread in numerous ways:
1.      Expanding the core group and form a Nature club
2.      Blog/webpage/FB page creation
3.      Organising nature trails for the residents, especially in the post- monsoon season and pre-monsoon season
4.      Organising nature photography workshops
5.      Presentations, expert lectures and photo exhibitions.
6.    Printing pamphlets (common birds, common flowers, common butterflies in IITB), printing coffee table books.

These tasks can be easily accomplished by bringing together groups working related to above mentioned points. For example, pixels group (photography related issues).


List of the trees under plantation (June 2012)
 Indian Snakeweed  Stachytarpheta indica
शिरीष Albizia odoratissima
 karvand  Carissa carandas  
चित्रक Plumbago zeylanica 
Tagar  Tabernaemontana divaricata
 Ixora coccinea 
Pavetta indica
Mussaenda erythrophylla 
गुलवेल  Tinospora cordifolia
रातराणी Cestrum nocturnum 
 दसमुळी Eranthemum roseum 
Jaambhul Syzygium cumini
 निर्गुंडी Vitex negundo
 काजू Anacardium occidentale 
Putranjiva Putranjiva roxburghii 
अर्जुन Terminalia arjuna 
 टेंबुरणी Diospyros paniculata
पपयी Carica papaya
बदक वेल Aristolochia ringens 
 शिवण  Gmelina arborea 
Hajari mogara Clerodendrum chinense
Bitaki
Gokarn
Nagkeshar
Tembhurni

Tress already planted as Soneribaug project:
1  Medshingi
2  Karanj
3  Behada
4  Surangi
5  Agnimanth
6  Hadga
7  Apta
8  Shirish
9  Bhokar
10 Kokum
11 Khair
12 Karvand
13 Palas
14 Neem
15 Bael
16 Cassia fistula (Bahava)
17 Shisham
18 Amla
19 Jam
20 Kailaspati
21 Moh


By Paresh Kale

2 comments:

  1. Best work have been hand over.. best of luck and do it complate with 100 % suretly.. thanks for sharing,,

    Preschools Mumbai

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TY Ayesha Tivari. This delayed reply to your comment has an advantage that I can inform you that most of the work is going on as per planned. :-)

      Delete

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