Move afoot to privatize zoo : CSM
Forum floated to save State zoo
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 8: Soon after coming into being, the Chiriakha Suraksha Mancha (CSM) has alleged that a move is afoot to hand over the State Zoo to a private party.
The Chiriakha Suraksha Mancha was formed with Dipak Pathak as the president and Rajkumar Baishya as the general secretary on Saturday at a convention called under the aegis of the local populace. The Mancha, according to its leaders, was formed to rescue the State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden from the plight it has been under.
Talking to newsmen after the convention, Baishya said: "Unskilled officers squeezed the State exchequer by rampantly making cages for animals and leaving them unused on the ground of being unfit for the very purpose. They spent public money like water. We want high-level inquiries into such spending and punishment to the guilty. In accordance with rules, a zoo should have an expert committee. However, this zoo doesn't have any. They spent Rs 1 crore for a breeding centre of golden langur. That centre is lying unused. Likewise they constructed a cage for nocturl animals. That's also good for nothing. It's lying unused. All cages made for tigers are unfit. We can't be mute spectators to all these wrongdoings right in front of us."
Baishya said: "From time to time, inquiries are ordered. However, their findings are never made public. Now most of the cages for animals are empty. The animals keep dying. The meat being provided to carnivorous animals is also not hygienic, leading to the death of a tiger the other day."
On corruption in the Zoo, Baishya said: "Corruption started to meet the public eyes since 1995, and it reached its peak in 2012. A garden has been set up in front of the office of the DFO, costing Rs 60 lakh. However, the sapling planted there are available in the zoo hill itself. Many valuables like gecko, ivories etc., were stolen from the zoo. We want punishment to the guilty."
On the issuance of tickets to the visitors to the zoo, Baishya said: "The ticketing system should be computerized. We smell a rat that a move is afoot to hand over the State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden to a private party. We won't let that happen."
Baishya said that the Mancha would soon submit all its demands for the wellbeing of the State zoo to the State Government. "If our demands fall on deaf ears of Dispur, we're going to start an agitation," he said.