Jairam Ramesh takes MCD officials to task | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Jairam Ramesh takes MCD officials to task

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday inspected the de-silting of the drain leading out of the National Zoological Park and emptying into the Yamuna via ring road, a preventing step to avoid water logging at the zoo and possible deaths of animals.

delhi Updated: May 31, 2011 00:40 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday inspected the de-silting of the drain leading out of the National Zoological Park and emptying into the Yamuna via ring road, a preventing step to avoid water logging at the zoo and possible deaths of animals.

Concerned at the health of animals at the Delhi zoo — the only one under his ministry amongst the 198 in the country — Ramesh took to task the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials, who in turn promised to complete the phase-I by June 30. It would include de-silting of the drain that runs from the zoo boundary (on zoo's eastern side) from below the adjoining railway line to the ring road before emptying into the Yamuna.

Over two-dozen black endangered bucks had died in 2010 after they drank sewage contaminated back-flowing water from the same drain. As reported by HT last week, the MCD had not started the work for building a permanent drain and de-silting of the drain, which had further prompted the Delhi high court to rap the civic body.

Officials from the zoo and ministry too accompanied the minister. "Our primary concern is to evacuate sewage water from the zoo in a safe way. With the drain work complete, the problem for the sewage water contaminating water sources would end," Ramesh told reporters.

The entire amount of Rs 5.65 crore earmarked for the same has been handed over to MCD. The MCD officials said they would take up the phase-II work that includes the portion of the drain inside the zoo by November.

Zoo's master plan is in the making and would be completed in three months. The overhauling of water, sewage and electric network inside the zoo premises is already on. The permanent drain would help solve a major problem.