With bird flu confirmed, anxious residents have been calling up the control room number set up at the office of the joint director in the animal husbandry department of the UT administration. Since the number was made public on Thursday, more than 100 calls poured in at the control room numbers: 0172-270092 and 93575-26960.
Here is a sample of the questions asked: “Can I have chicken? I had chicken on Wednesday night, will I get avian flu?” Another resident asked the department officials, “How serious is the problem, how will you kill the birds?”
Residents are also curious to know the fate of migratory birds and whether they would also meet the same fate. The common questions asked were, “Can I eat chicken? How does bird flu spread? Is it air-borne disease? When will be the lake opened? Are those staying near the lake also adversely hit?”
Animal husbandry joint director Lovelesh Kant Gupta said, “I have received more than 100 calls and these seem never-ending.”
The official added, “Residents do not need to panic as there is no outbreak of bird flu in the city so far. We have taken all precautionary measures and steps are being initiated to keep the residents safe.”
Geese may not be domesticated at Lake
UT chief wildlife warden Santosh Kumar said that the department has recommended to the administration not to domesticate geese at the lake any more. He added that authorities had been told that the geese should not be kept at the Lake Club.
Geese brought in 18 years ago
The concept of geese or ducks at Sukhna Lake was started by SK Sharma, former president of the Environment Society of India in 1996.
The concept was initiated to promote tourism at Lake. Initially, six geese were introduced at the lake and later 25 more birds were added in 2002.
Special feed was given to the ducks and proper care was taken. But with time the different departments of UT administration, including wildlife, CITCO and animal husbandry, started ignoring the geese and visitors could be seen feeding the geese.