"If I cannot manage my zoo properly, how can I expect other states to keep their zoos in order?" said Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests after a visit to the National Zoological Park on Monday.
The zoological park, also known as the Delhi Zoo, situated on the Mathura Road is the only zoo in the country that comes directly under the environment ministry. Ramesh was at the zoo to take stock of the measures taken after over two-dozen black bucks died in September due to contaminated water.
The contamination occurred after a blocked drain towards Yamuna led to backflow of storm water that mixed with overflowing faulty sewage. This was the minister's second visit to the zoo since the incident.
During his visit, the minister inspected the progress of the repairs that various agencies promised at a meeting held soon after the black bucks' death. At Monday's meeting Ramesh met Central Zoo Authority member-secretary, BS Bonal, zoo director AK Agnihotri, along with officials from civic agencies.
"The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) have promised to complete their respective works as early as possible," Ramesh said after the meeting.
Ramesh sounded optimistic about improvements in zoo's condition. "Yes, we are working at improving things one by one."
DJB officials said they were fixing the problem of sewage overflow and promised to complete it by December 15.