Yes, you read that correctly! The wildlife in Sanjay Van does not have the freedom to move around freely in the forest anymore because of the new barbwire fencing that has been built through their home.
Sanjay Van is a city forest that spreads across 783 acres in Delhi, it is one of the largest and one of the most heavily green places in Delhi. Since it is a forest there is a large variety of wildlife living here. There are also several lakes and many nature trails there which are inviting for adventurous Delhiites to explore. The forest has now become a popular spot for relaxing, exercising, nature walks and wildlife photography.
In our previous article we had highlighted that the DDA had violated the National Green Tribunal Order by cementing around the bases of trees without leaving one meter soil space, which prevents the trees to grow wider and prevents water percolation to the roots. They had also cemented the grass and soil in order to build an outdoor gym, which is not just damaging for the environment but directly impacts human health as well.
Now, the authorities have built a new barbwire fencing along certain parts of the walking path and completely fenced the lakes. The resident wildlife like Nil Gai, Golden Jackals, Porcupines, Peacock/Peahen, Mongoose, Ducks, Stray Dogs, Pigs etc, are now in danger of getting injured due to this sharp barbwire.
It has been put up very haphazardly, and it is easy for humans to see and beware of but animals may not be as quick to notice it and steer clear of it. Several calls have already come in regarding animals getting stuck or injured by the barbwire. If an animal is startled and instinctively runs away, there are high chances of them to get hurt by the sharp barbwire fencing in the forest. The new fencing around the lakes is preventing the animals from accessing the water. It can also cut the birds flying around.
Other locations with lakes have no barbwire or mesh fencing around, example, Lodhi Garden, India Gate, Rajghat, Nehru Park, Buddha Jayanti Park, Deer Park etc.
Many complaints have been sent to the authorities but these animal traps in the forest still remain there. This is a clear case of human encroachment in the forest by the Sanjay Van Management. Hopefully the Chief Wildlife Warden can help to return the forest back to its natural residents.