Nature @ IITB – Conservation program
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:
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.
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
spread in numerous ways:
1. Expanding the core group and form a Nature club
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
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
सीता अशोक Saraca asoca
बदक वेल Aristolochia ringens
शिवण Gmelina arborea
Hajari mogara Clerodendrum chinense
Tress already planted as Soneribaug project:
16 Cassia fistula (Bahava)
By Paresh Kale