Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service will now run its bus services from Lal Darwaja to Thol in Mehsana district. A total of five round trips have been planned per day. The augmented facility goes underway from May 6. To be inaugurated by CM Bhupendra Patel on Friday, the ceremonial flag-off from Thol Gram Panchayat Bhavan will also see the presence of Ahmedabad mayor Kirit Parmar, Kadi MLA Karshan Solanki, former AUDA chairman Dharmendra Shah and AMC commissioner Lochan Sehra.
Among the major stops are: Nehru Bridge, Natraj Cinema, Navrangpura, Commerce College, Gurukul, Hebatpur Cross Road, Thaltej village, Shilj village, Rancharda village, Dabhala Chonkadi, Adhana village, Sadhimatanu temple, Chandanpura Chokdi and Thol village.
In a bid to boost ecotourism, the bus service makes Thol Bird Sanctuary easily accessible. The artificial freshwater lake near Thol village was built in 1912 for irrigation. However, soon the place started attracting migratory birds and the “Thol Bird Sanctuary” was set up in 1988. An absolute delight for ornithologists, the reserve is home to many species from the Himalayan and north-eastern states during winter.
According to official records, the sanctuary is home to 150 avian species, of which nearly 60 percent are aquatic birds. Many migratory birds nest here. Surkhabs and storks are of particular importance. The habitat has been declared as a reserve under the 1986 Act. At present, the lake is an undertaking of both the Forest and Irrigation Departments of the state government.