New Delhi: Today the Yamuna Biodiversity Park in Delhi with wetland is home to nearly 200 different species of birds and over 900 species of plants, but it has become synonymous to a filthy dead drain.
However, a team of scientists is trying to restore the river's original ecosystem. This green wonder has been created by field biologist Faiyaz Khudsar and his team of scientists who have painstakingly restored the lost wilderness of the dead river.
"It was a barren area full of salt. We didn't use any chemical to reduce the salt level but we used plant material that too belonging to Yamuna basin. We used lots of legumes and grass to handle the situation. So the forest you see now in eight years old. Its very different and amazing," Faiyaz said.
The 450 acre wilderness park has been grown from a scratch. Today it has 100 species of aquatic plants and 20 fish species that had once vanished from the Yamuna. And the result - thousands of birds now breed and feed here.
"This is the only place in the entire Delhi NCR region where the Red-crested Pochard comes and stay. Therefore it suggests that this wetland is functioning well," Fiayaz said.
Lilies once used to thrive all along the Yamuna in Delhi but vanished due to heavy pollution. And with the restoration of the ecosystem, creatures like wild pigs and civets can be seen in Yamuna at night, all in the heart of our bustling city.
"This area became a kind of open air laboratory for students. Students who study in book life cycle of butterfly, they come here and see here life. They try to understand how one bird is feeding on fruit and the other bird is feeding on insect and one bird is killing another live bird," Fiayaz said.
Once the entire river Yamuna was teeming with biodiversity and this has been made possible to due the work of Faiyaz and his team of scientists who have shown how a little of science and a lot of handwork can solve our most difficult environment problems.