SUBJECT :The Sikkim Ornithological Society, Save Sikkim and other environmental organizations of Sikkim on Monday submitted a representation to Power minister Mingma Norbu Sherpa seeking shifting the proposed parking lot project at Hilley, West district. 

By: Bijoy Gurung

Gangtok, June 10, 2019: The Sikkim Ornithological Society, Save Sikkim and other environmental organizations of Sikkim on Monday submitted a representation to Power minister Mingma Norbu Sherpa seeking shifting the proposed parking lot project at Hilley, West district.

Hilley is one of the gateways to Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary under Daramdin constituency. It is one of the most appropriate locations in the world to see Great Parrotbill.

Therefore, to protect the habitat of this special bird, the construction of the parking lot Hilley must be shifted to another location with least disturbance, submitted the organizations to Sherpa at his office here.

Sherpa is the also Daramdin MLA.

“The Power minister told us that he is even more concerned about the issue. He thanked the organizations for taking up the matter. He assured to place the representation personally to the Forest minister,” said Sikkim Ornithological Society (SOS) president Nosang M. Limboo.

“This is an effort to safeguard the pristine habitat of Great Parrotbill which is recorded in Hilley and Dzuluk in Sikkim. We had raised this issue before also and hope the concerned department will support us in this cause now. We also look forward to present a similar letter of request to the Forest minister also very soon,” said the SOS president.

The Great Parrotbill (Conostoma aemodium) is  abird species of the Sylviidae (Old World warbler) family.

According to Nosang, a concrete building has been proposed in the parking lot project replacing the bamboo jungle in the area. The parking lot project is under the JICA project, he said.

“The whole area has to be cleared and the bamboos have to be removed for the project. The bamboo thicket is the bird habitat where the birds come to breed and search for food. The concrete construction will damage the breeding spot. The other disturbance is that once the parking lot is constructed, the movement and breeding of the bird will be disturbed. Vehicular movement will be a huge disturbance,” said Nosang.

“Disturbing the habitat means a decrease in the bird population which already is low. We must focus on increasing the population of such a special bird like Great Parrotbill,” said the SOS president.

According to the organization, the location for the parking lot at Hilley had been made during the previous SDF Government.

The SOS said it has been highlighting environmental concerns on many such ‘unwanted constructions’ proposed and commissioned during the previous government, especially in pristine forest area like Sidekyong Tulku Bird Park at Rabdentse. The SOS is supported by the local youths of the area who are promoting ecotourism in the area in this cause, said the organization.


Source: Sikkim Express