Mangaluru: Dr Shivaram Karanth Pilikula Nisargadhama organised the inauguration of the new aquarium centre Pilikula Mathsyalaya, release of new boats and handing over of cheque for Pilikula Urban Eco Park at the Boating Lake Garden here, on September 13.
Minister for Forest, Ecology & Environment and district minister in-charge, B Ramanath Rai handed over a cheque of Rs 2 crore for the eco park to the Pilikula administration along with the other dignitaries on the dais. Pilikula Mathsyalaya was inaugurated and the new boats were released for operation. Pilikula Mathsyalaya features domestication units, breeding units include artemia units, a laboratory, a nursery and rearing units. Around 20 local fish species found in the Western Ghats like Melon barb, lemon fin barb, red-line torpedo barb, the state fish – Karnataka Carp, etc., which range from vulnerable to critically endangered species are part of the collected species. Some of these species will be bred using either environmental manipulation or induced breeding using hormones, reared, nursed and then finally let into the wild in their local environment in the Western Ghats.
Environment Officer Puranik gave a brief on the Urban Eco Park and said that the park would be made in 10 acres of land, the main objective being to educate the public about various issues that threaten the environment and the different measures taken to counter them. It will also showcase different working models to demonstrate various processes like a sewage treatment unit, solar units and even a theater to bring awareness. The tender process and project report have been completed and the work is set to start within 3-4 months. He also said that it has been many years since a project of this scale was undertaken at Pilikula.
Recalling his younger days, Ramanath Rai said that there were many species of fish found in ponds and lakes, like Mugudu, Serpade, etc. during those days in Mangaluru, but most of them are nowhere to be seen today. “If you tell about these fish to today’s kids, they will not even know about them. The new aquarium aims to promote, breed and conserve local fish populations so that they are not erased from existence.” He also recognised MLA J R Lobo’s efforts to boost Pilikula’s significance in the conservation of the bio-diversity of the region and the Western Ghats, and assured to provide funds of Rs 2 crore for the aquarium project.
MLA J R Lobo congratulated the administration of Pilikula Nisargadhama and thanked everyone who were responsible in making the newly inaugurated projects possible. He also expressed his gratitude to the Forest minister for assuring to provide funds to support Pilikula’s work in conserving bio-diversity and added that while it may take years of meticulous planning and execution to make Pilikula a centre that undertakes the conservation and promotion of all bio species found in the Western Ghats, once it is done Pilikula will be a prominent eco-tourism destination for not just the country but also the world, thereby also generating wealth for the region.
Pilikula beneficiaries were honoured by the dignitaries on the occasion.
Executive Director of Pilikula Nisargadhama, S A Prabhakara Sharma welcomed the gathering. Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim, Minister Youth Services and Fisheries – Abhayachandra Jain, MLA Mangalore North – Moideen Bava, president of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy Roy Castelino and others were present on the occasion.