Thanjavur: With the beginning of ‘Agni Nakshathiram’ from May 4, Saturday, scorching sun and heat due to it will touch its peak till May 29. Water will be the majorrequirement for not only human beings but also for birds and animals during this period.
Tamil University remains a haven for large number of birds and animals with its sprawling campus on 825 acres now. (previously when it was established by M.G.Ramachandran, former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, it had 1000 acres of land. Now some lands have been allotted for new collectorate, south zone cultural centre).
Having noticed that birds in the campus are searching for water, even pecking water pipes, spilled water and the like, Dr G. Balasubramanian, Vice-chancellor decided to find a way out to quench their thirst. “Surface water is not available in the campus, which is full of laterite soil. I saw birds drinking dirty water coming out from hostels and also in taps where some drops of water fall after closing. So we decided to dig a pond and provide water for these birds. We did it on 2,400-sq ft land with three ft depth near Karikal Cholan auditorium in the campus. “After digging the pond using machines, we filled it with clay so that water may not seep down. Later pipelines were laid to bring water from tanks. We fill it every day. You can see birds like peacocks, sparrows, hornbill, mynah, barbet drinking water from this pond. Now our idea is to create four such ponds in the campus deep inside amidst trees so that birds and animals can use them” said the vice-chancellor.
There is an idea to grow lotus and lily in the ponds, he added. “This pond has been created under a provision in ‘Swachh Bharath’ scheme. This is only a trial and we dig more ponds depending upon the utility and success of the pond,” Balasubramanian said.
Underground water has gone down to 400-ft in the campus and wells dug to a depth of 100-ft in the past are without water. Percolation ponds were created during Eighth World Tamil conference in 1995, but water is not there in them, the VC explained.
Dr.Sivasubramanian, head of the department of Environment and herbal science, said that 358 species of flora in the campus. There are 79 types of trees, 39 species of butterflies and 94 species of birds in the campus. There are 10,000 birds including peacocks, mynah, barbet, bulbul, sparrows etc. Many of them are fruit and grain eating birds and more fruit trees should be cultivated., Grasslands should be created in plains. Nest boxes and sticks for perching of birds should be created and the campus should be made a birds and animals friendly.” he said. Animals in the campus include deer, tortoise, fox and rabbits among others.
M. Elangovan, assistant engineer, Tamil University, said that the pond will be maintained properly so that it may continue to hold water throughout the year....