Chennai: Former IAS officer ropes in colleagues for bird watching

Equipped with binoculars two retired IAS officers C.V. Shankar and K. Suresh were spotted counting migratory birds.

Chennai: Equipped with binoculars two retired IAS officers C.V. Shankar and K. Suresh were spotted counting migratory birds on Pallikaranai radial road on Saturday, bringing surprise to serving foresters. Shankar, who had served as state additional chief secretary and as the forest secretary, is now a full time bird watcher. He has urged other civil servants to take up bird watching and nature treks for a stress-free quality life.

Shankar, who shared his recordings of about 21 migratory bird species, also discussed local nesting birds and their issues pertaining to the Pallikaranai marshland with the local foresters. The retired bureaucrat is also an active member among the bird watchers in the Chennai and updates the documentation pictures of birds on social media.

“It's a nice to spend your morning with birds and earlier there were special wildlife camps for IAS officers when Sarangi was the former chief secretary and it will be better if there are similar programme for serving IAS and IPS officers in the state”, opined Shankar. Exploring nature is a win- win situation for both, the bureaucrats and the environment.

Such a move will help the policy makers to understand ecology and the biotic pressure faced by flora and fauna. “I will also appeal to the state IAS association to ensure that there is some wildlife programme for babus and most of the time the top officers in the state are glued to their seats and suffer stress due to erratic working conditions”, he added.

“The former forest secretary is an avid bird watcher and learns the nuances of birding like a kid and he has assured to bring a few more government officials during his next visit to Nanmangalam forest near Tambaram”, said KVRK Thirunaranan, a regular bird tracker at Pallikaranai, who is also an honorary wildlife warden for Kancheepuram district.

Commenting on Pallikaranai, he said that the marshland is one of the prime feeding area for migratory birds and the forest department is periodically holding talks with the industries department to reduce the industrial pollution along the southern side of Pallikaranai marshland. Still, there are large tracts of land available with industries department and if this land is given back to the forest department, the birds and the local public would benefit with a better environment, he added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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