We finally got all the work in Indala finished and did it just in time. The monsoons have arrived here and the rains make most of the tracks to Indala impassable. All the three wells were dug some time ago, the waterholes are ready, the water recharging structures done and the Deputy Field Director has posted two guards (who stay in tents) near each of the waterholes. All sorts of wildlife have already started using these waterholes. When Andy Rouse, Salim Ali (India’s best tiger driver – if you know what I mean) and I had gone there to take a few pictures, we found fresh pugmarks of a male tiger in the first waterhole and pugmarks of a tigress with three cubs close by. We could only photograph the first well because it was getting dark by the time we finished with that one and we had to get out of the park (which takes nearly 2 hours).
I would like to thank Paresh Upadhyaya (USA), Jayananda Govindaraj (Chennai), Ratnabh Bannerjee (New Delhi), Nitin Mistry (Goa), Hitesh Chug (New Delhi) and Andy Rouse (UK) and the clothing company “Paramo “ that sponsors his conservation work. Andy / Paramo and I each picked up about 35% of the bill while the others contributed towards the balance 30%. I still have about Rupees 35,000 left with me.
The Deputy Field Director and I discussed ways to spend this amount and we came out with a good one. There is an old lake in Indala, very close to the Indala village, which is going to be relocated outside the park very soon. This lake was made about 70 years ago by damming a non-perennial stream. About 10 years ago the dam broke and since then the lake died out. We have decided to fix the dam and to strengthen the banks of this lake. We have Rs 35,000 to do this but it is going to cost about Rs 200,000 to complete, which we will somehow manage. We had started work on the lake a few days ago but it rained a day after that and it may now be tough to complete the work. In that case we will take it up in one of the dry spells that we get in the monsoons. If we can manage that then we will have a full-fledged lake in Indala plateau when the National Park reopens in October after the monsoons.
The waterholes are ready…….