A day after the Sukhna Lake was declared as an ‘avian flu-hit zone’ and more than 100 geese were culled till the wee hours of Friday, entry to the tourist spot has been banned for the next 30 days.
The administration has imposed Section 144 (prohibiting assembly of more than five people) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 around the area. The island at the lake has been declared out of bounds for the next two months and the Lake Club and the cafeteria will remain closed for a month.
The administration has also put the area within a 1 km radius of the lake, including the Punjab and Haryana governors’ official residences, houses in Sector 5 and surrounding villages, under surveillance.
The central government has decided to undertake “environment sampling” of the lake for which a team of experts from the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal will visit the city on December 22 to conduct tests to ascertain if there was any trace of the H5N1 virus in the water.
Subdivisional magistrate (central) Prince Dhawan, the nodal officer dealing the avian flu, said: “The rural development department has been roped in to create awareness among those residing near the lake about a possible bird flu contamination. The administration is well-equipped to tackle the problem with medicine stocks for a month.”
He said the heads of Kishangarh and Bhagwanpura villages had been briefed about the situation and asked to visit the health services director’s office if any resident showed symptoms of bird flu. “An emergency medical response team has arrived in the city to assess any symptoms of the flu,” he added.
Animal husbandry joint director Lovelesh Kant Gupta said: “The lake was sanitised and fumigated on Friday with lime dust and other chemicals. Over 100 sacks of lime were used to dust the entire lake area.”
“We have got information that a goose has been left behind at the area near the island. Tomorrow we will get it checked and cull that goose,” he added.
The control room, meanwhile, was flooded with calls from the city residents. One of the callers asked if he could serve chicken during a wedding ceremony in his family on Sunday. Most of the callers asked until when intake of chicken should be avoided. Meanwhile, the animal husbandry department has asked city residents to buy frozen chicken as of now, cook it at more than 70 degree temperature and avoid semi-cooked chicken.
MC joint commissioner Rajeev Gupta said signboards prohibiting entry had been put up at the lake. Meanwhile, authorities continued to keep a vigil on migratory birds flocking to the lake. So far, no death of migratory bird has been reported. Staff from various administration departments including wildlife, animal husbandry, health and the municipal corporation were present.
Lake Club, cafeteria also shut down
The island at the lake has been declared out of bounds for the next two months and the Lake Club and the cafeteria will remain closed for a month.
Fumigation and sanitisation carried out with lime dust
Areas in 1-km radius of the lake, including the Punjab and Haryana Raj Bhawans and houses in Sec-5, put under watch.