Category Archives: BLOG

Migratory Birds Seagulls visit Surat every winter

Seagulls visit Tapi River banks in Surat every year during winter in large numbers. They come in thousands and stay here for 3-4 months from November to February. This year as well they have come to taste Surti food for which they have become adapted and habituated for. It seems they keep coming to taste these tasty snacks of Surat such as gathiya, namkeen, dhokla and others. However it is not sure if this is causing them any kind of serious damage. Healthcare and Bird experts feel that they should be fed only boiled food or their natural diet to keep them safe.

However Surtis in large number are seen feeding gathiya and other snacks during early morning and evenings. Seagulls have developed a discipline to come in position to sit near the railing at the bridge and wait for someone to place the snacks. They come in turns and are seen savoring the delight. You can see seagulls getting upclose to humans, seems like they have been domesticated. Across the world, Seagulls are seen to have similar behaviour at beaches and urban establishment where often they are seen to steal food from the visitors. Seagulls eat fishes and insects as their natural diet.

They are seen taken ride in Tapi river to fulfill their taste buds. Seagulls are seen in large number near Makkai Pool, where it has become their usual breakfast and evening snacks spot. They are also seen resting in the muddy islands in Tapi River. On the other side of the city, where Tapi River looks like a lake near Singanpore, wier-cum-causeway carries a new avatar of Tapi. Here large flocks of birds are seen swimming in the water and flying at certain intervals. Below video is captured at one such instance.

Seagulls flying above Tapi River near Wier-cum-Causeway in Surat

Best time to see Seagulls near Tapi river is early mornings when the Sun is rising behind the urban infrastructure. Large number of Surtis are seen going on walks, jogging and running. They feed these birds as well. Also during evening before Sunset, you can enjoy the Sun going down near Tapi River and see the birds making large sounds as they feed on the food. You will find the darkness creating a silhoutte of the city infrastructure, in the background sunsetting into the river and in the foreground you will see these birds flying with wide open wings. A perfect time to carry your camera and click some pictures of this birds upclose as well as landscapes.

Seagulls at Makkai Pool Bridge railing waiting for food from ongoing commuters in Surat
Seagulls at Makkai Pool Bridge railing waiting for food from ongoing commuters in Surat

Try to care for these birds as they have come from far off lands possibly from the freezing cold Europe or Russia. There is not sure trace of these birds, however it is seen that every year they return to the very spot and stay for few months, before they make return to their home lands. As visitors, they bring about a beauty to our city and repeated return makes our city their favorite place. So we need to continue keeping our city clean and treat our foreign visitors with care and love as always.

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Surat Air Quality Statistics, Air Pollution in Surat as of November 2019

Air Quality Index in Surat is hitting over 300 units in Limbayat zone, categorized as very poor quality.

Air pollution has become a rampant issue in the recent times in India, particularly in the major cities across the nation. Surat is also under the threat of air pollution, slowly reaching to the uncomfortable stage of very poor air quality. Observation of fog, smog and unclear sky during the early morning and late night has become frequent. Digging a little much into the statistics made the story clear and evident. Surat is becoming one of the polluted cities of India.

Surat Municipal Corporation manages various areas of cleanliness in city. It has setup an Environment cell, which caters to the issues and quality of water, air, noise and others in the city. Various projects are undertaken from time to time to maintain the quality of water and keeping the city clean. Under the department, similar steps are taken to monitor the air quality in the city with partnership from some educational research institutes providing valuable inputs and support. Such monitoring stations are placed at various points in the city and continous monitoring is done since few years and the data is provided to Gujarat Pollution Control Board, which is then sent to the central board, where the data is finally agreegated at national level.

Two such Air Quality monitoring stations are set up in the vicinity of the city and data is available to public online for information. SMC online portal provides this details on timely update as well as chart showing the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) for 24 hours. The devices are set up at Limbayat and Varachha areas.

Air Quality Index in Varachha is satisfactory during the day and night, however the readings in Limbayat fluctuate over the day from satisfactory to poor to very poor. Last night, that is on 11-Nov-2019, the readings reached above 310 units from usual 90 units during the day. The major concern is the amount of CO2, PM2.5 and PM10 that is considerably high. Along with the concentration of SO2, all this toxic gases and particles make it very difficult to breath as the AQI increases. It can causes damage such as breathing issues, nauseu, headaches on prolongated exposure to such toxic environment over multiple.

What is PM2.5

PM2.5 is atmospheric particulate matter that is smaller than 2.5 micrometers.

What is PM10

PM10 is atmospheric particulate matter that is smaller than 10 micrometers.

As it can be seen below, the AQI went from 212 to 268 to 309 during the hours from 9PM to 10 PM to 11 PM respectively.

You can find the details of Air Quality Statistics on Surat Municipal Portal.


It will be interesting to find the root cause of the severe change in the air quality in this area, as the near by Varachha readings are pretty normal and satisfactory over the day and night. Speculations by experts in city point towards the growth in industrial wastes while the government officials quote the increase in population, vehicles, construction sites as the main reason. If the quality of air continous to be getting adverse day by day, then a serious probe into the cause might be the only resort left. As we it deals with impact over all the citizens living in these areas, it is much of a concern in long run.

Birds that can be spotted in Surat

Birds that can be spotted in Surat

  • Little Egret
  • Water Hen
  • Pond Heron
  • Yellow Orange Shaded Heron
  • Cormorant
  • Coucal
  • Brown-Blue Kingfisher
  • Common Myna
  • Indian Koel
  • Indian Bulbul
  • Sparrow
  • Pigeon
  • Crow
  • Parrot
  • Seagull
  • Flamingoes
  • Robbin Bird

Sarthana Nature Park and Zoo, Surat

Sarthana Nature Park and Zoo is located in Surat and one of the top attractions here. It is owned and managed by the local government body here, Surat Municipal Corporation.

Spread in about 81 acres, Sarthana Zoo was established in 1984 and since then slowly grown to be one of the favorite picnic spots in the city for the children as well as adults. Towards the north of the zoo is the famous Tapi River of Surat and towards the south, where the entrance gate of the Zoo is located, is the Surat-Kamrej Road. This Nature Park and Zoo, is well connected with the city via Road.

This zoo has Lion, Tigers, Himalayan Bears, Otters, Hippopotamus, Emu and other animals like Fox. Many animals are brought here for breeding, growth, shelter and protection for short and long tenures and treated until they are well. Bird section of the zoo is very well equipped with various kind of parrots, owl, peacocks and some foreign birds.

Special Attraction :

Otters have been breeded in this zoo. There are about 10 otters which seem to be enjoying the crowd visiting them. They showcase some skills often to get some food from the visitors. It is suggested to not feed any animals in the zoo.

The Royal Bengal Tiger here seems to be enjoying its walk during the early morning hours and in the evening. Often the tiger is seen taking strolls around the enclosure and the sight is worth a penny. Do not miss a chance to see, wait until you get to see it.

  • Otters at Sarthana Zoo Park, Surat
  • Emu at Sarthana Nature Park
  • White Peacock at Sarthana Nature Park

Timings and Fees :

Zoo is open from Tuesdays to Sunday during 10 AM to 5 PM. It remains closed on Monday.

Entry fees for children below 12 years is 20 Rs and for adults its 30 Rs. Foreigners entry fees is 200 Rs for children and 300 Rs for adults. Camera is allowed with some fees. Still camera will cost you around 50 Rs, while video shooting with general cameras will cost you 150 Rs. For any kind of filming, shooting or commerical videography, prior permission needs to be taken along with a charge of 5000 Rs.

Visit during early hours and evenings. It will take you around 2 to 3 hours depending on how much time you spend at each enclosure. Animals are often sleeping during the noon, which may spoil your experience. Carry a set of binoculars for a richer experience.

There is a canteen at the end of the Zoo, towards the exit. Snacks, Packaged Food, Icecream and Cold-Drinks are available. Local snack Bungada-Bataka is eaten often.

Do not feed any animals or birds in the zoo. Do not destroy any property of the zoo. Please consider this place as home for the animals and do not disturb them with loud noises or any other ways. Enjoy the site as a learning experience and getting close to nature.

Zoo is being extended with new amenities like pond and boating.

Enjoy your stay in Surat. For more such experiences visit our page : Attractions in Surat

Flamingos visit Tapi River, Surat in large number every year

Flamingos visit Surat near the banks of Tapi River every year in large number. Over the last few years, the number of birds flocking in had gone down severly. However this year, large group of Flamingos was seen enjoying in the muddy little islands in the Tapi River, stretching from Pal to Magdalla.

Flamingo is a large bird with pink feathers, long, thin legs, a long neck, and a beak that curves down. They usually stand on one leg while the other is tucked beneath their bodies. Flamingos are capable flyers. Young flamingos hatch with greyish-red plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta-carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored.

The greater flamingo is the tallest of the 6 different species of flamingos, standing at 3.9 to 4.7 feet (1.2 to 1.4 m) with a weight up to 7.7 pounds (3.5 kg), and the shortest flamingo species (the lesser) has a height of 2.6 feet (0.8 m) and weighs 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg). Flamingos can have a wingspan as small as 37 inches (94 cm) to as big as 59 inches (150 cm).

Flamingos filter-feed on brine shrimp and blue-green algae as well as larva, small insects, mollusks and crustaceans making them omnivores. Their bills are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, and are uniquely used upside-down. Downstream of Tapi River in Surat, after causeway is well-suited for this type of environment, bringing in large number of Flamingos every year.

The shallow waters near Magdalla and Hazira, downstream of Tapi near Umra are home to flamingos. When the tide is over, flocks of flamingos come to shallow Tapi river to munch on the algae and insects. Check Map Below for possible spotting locations.

Flamingos can be spotted on downstream of Tapi River near Umara & Magdalla.
Upcoming extension of Tapi River Front, may provide good viewing spots.

SMC plans roof-top solar implementation on BRTS Bus Stops

Surat: Roof-top solar power generating systems with 200KW capacity will be installed on 156 BRTS bus stops in the city. A private company into the business of solar power generation will install the system and maintain it for a period of 25 years. The Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) will purchase the power produced at concessional rates.

SMC has invited tenders from solar power developer to survey and set up 200KW solar power units at BRTS bus stops by adopting the Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) model.

Under this model, the company will install and maintain the solar power system and civic body will purchase the electricity produced at a fixed rate for stipulated period of time.

“This would suffice us to run electrical operations in and around the bus stop,” said SMC commissioner M Thennarasan.

According to an estimate, a 200KW roof-top solar power system generates nearly 250 units every month and 100 such panels would generate 25,000 units. A solar power company would provide SMC electricity at the rate of Rs 5.8 per unit against regular market rate of Rs 7.69 per unit, resulting in a saving of up to Rs 5.25 lakh in electricity bills.

Besides solar power generation, SMC has also started giving contracts for setting up hoardings atop its bus stops.

Source : Times Of India