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news details
As Kashmir remains shut, Maina goes missing
9/14/2019 10:56:35 PM

Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Sept 14: While the on-going shutdown has affected all aspects of life in restive Kashmir, it seems the Maina (a small bird that sings sweet songs) has also taken a break. The beautiful bird is no longer seen in Shaheed Gali that houses the shrine of Peer Dastgeer Sahib in Hari Singh High Street area of the city.
Insha, 22, who shifted to her ancestral residence in the area two years ago was fascinated by huge presence of the birds on the power supply lines running through the middle of the street.
However, she could not sleep as the continued chirping of hundreds of birds kept her awake all night. "I was very angry but slowly I got used to it and then came a time when I started liking their songs. But for the past two months, the birds are not coming. I miss them," she said.
Other residents are equally shocked. "This is highly unusual. Thousands of birds could be seen in the area at this time of summer. Nobody knows what happened to the birds. The evenings are no longer lively here," Javed Ahmad Pathan said.
Dr Baktyar Naseem, who has worked extensively on birds of Jammu Kashmir blames the cell phone towers for their doom. "High radiation is very harmful to the tiny birds. The towers are killing the birds slowly but surely," he opined. However, he could not suggest remedial measures. "The experts can only do something in this regard," he said.
An official from the wildlife department preferring anonymity expressed helplessness. "We have been able to save birds and other animals in national parks and sanctuaries. But we cannot do anything for birds that live in densely populated urban areas," he said.
"Whatever the reasons, we are fast losing rare birds. A time may come when no birds will be left to sing songs in gardens and elsewhere," he said.
According to him, the experts must sit together and chalk out a strategy for preservation of the sweet and tiny birds. "The panel must have experts from cellular companies as well," he suggested.
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