COIMBATORE: The efforts to rejuvenate Kalingarayan lake, commonly known as SS Kulam, for the past two years have enriched the biodiversity in the region. A group of volunteers has planted nearly 4,000 native trees on its banks. As a result, bird watchers recorded about 53 species of birds around the lake recently. They said their efforts would make the water body one of the biodiversity hot spots in the district.
The lake, which was dry, has been slowly filling up with each monsoon season since last year. Volunteers from surrounding villages, working under the banner of ‘Kalingarayan Kulam Pathukappu Amaippu’, have made this change possible.
Selvaraj Rangasamy, president of Coimbatore Nature Society, who often conducts bird watching drives, observed that the lake has been flourishing and attracting many birds. “During a bird watching drive held between December and January, we recorded 53 species of native and migratory birds around the lake. This change was made possible in the past two years, after beginning the restoration process,” Selvaraj said.
“With the participation of villagers, farmers and private firms, volunteers are taking various efforts to make it a biodiversity hotspot. They have made efforts to augment the biodiversity around the lake by bee breeding, planting 506 saplings on the bund and around 3,500 along the lake, a garden with 27 species of rare trees and a separate nursery to grow saplings. In addition, a park was opened adjacent to the bund to cultivate interest in water conservation among children,”
Coordinator G Vijay Babu said, “We see this as a result of the efforts made over the last 111 weeks.”
“It is one of the four lakes — Chinnavedampatti, SS Kulam, AS Kulam and Kanoorpudur — that assure groundwater in the northern part of Coimbatore. During the last monsoon, the lake got 40 per cent water due to the efforts to clear five major feeder canals and desilting. Even though the water dried up fast, the humidity did not decrease. The environment is now conducive for resident and migratory birds,” Vijay Babu said.