The Delhi high court on Wednesday appointed a two-member committee of lawyers to monitor the work on storm water drains in the national zoological park, better known as the Delhi Zoo.
Acting on a report in the HT, the Delhi high court had on May 27 sought an explanation from the MCD on its failure to lay proper storm water drains as well as not cleaning the existing one in the zoo.
Contaminated water along with with the absence of a proper drain had killed more than a dozen black bucks last year at the Park. The court made it clear to the civic authority that such a tragedy should not recur.
MCD counsel Amita Gupta told a bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Sanjiv Khanna that the civic body has agreed to clean the drain and that the zoo management has already handed over them funds to the tune of Rs 4.1 crore for the purpose.
She also said the contractor who has been handed over the work has already begun the de-silting process. The court then appointed a committee of two lawyers comprising Raj Panjwani, a noted environmentalist and animal rights activist
More than two dozen black bucks (Antilope cervicapra) — included in schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 — had died in September last year after drinking back-flowing storm water contaminated with sewage.
HT had reported that the MCD had not even begun work for laying down a storm water drain that would connect the outlets at the eastern edge of the National Zoological Park to the existing drain that runs under a railway line and empties into the Yamuna.
The proposed storm water drain would run from Sunder Nagar to the zoological park and then to the railway culvert and then have an outfall at the Ring Road. “The MCD has also initiated the work for desilting the drain. We will ensure that there is no stagnation of water during monsoon,” MCD spokesperson Deep Mathur said.