The National Zoological Park — popular as the Delhi zoo — had lost over two dozen black bucks in the monsoon of 2010 after the animals consumed sludge that had flown into their enclosures from a drain pipe opening in the Yamuna.
However, two years later — and barely months from the monsoon — the authorities have still not taken care of the problem completely.
The Delhi High Court had last year taken suo motu cognisance of a report about how the construction of a drain had not even begun. A year after the work for improving the drainage system at the Delhi zoo to avoid waterlogging was taken up, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has not completed the work inside the zoo, although the drain outside connecting it with the Yamuna is almost complete.
A concrete drain for storm water flowing down from Sundar Nagari through the zoo is complete but the pumping facility, including a huge tank, is not yet finished. The RCC work has not even started.The high court followed the case over the months and heard it again on January 18 this year. It was told that the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had promised that work to increase the height of all the manholes, which had caused flooding in the zoo, would be completed by March 31. Similarly, the MCD’s deadline was April 30.
But both agencies failed to meet the deadlines. There are 24-25 manholes, heights of which need to be raised. DJB spokesperson Sanjam Cheema said it had started work and it would be completed by May 15.
Closing the proceedings of the case on January 18, acting chief justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw had said: “We hope and expect that the work would be undertaken as agreed upon above and the problem of water logging inside the National Zoological Park shall not recur. These proceedings are accordingly closed with liberty to
the National Zoological Park to approach the court again, if they face any such problem in future."
The MCD claimed it received the money late. “We have started the work and will complete it as soon as possible,” said YS Mann, MCD director (PR).
The zoo administration said it was the civil construction unit (CCU) of the environment ministry that released the money. The CCU officials, in turn, said, “We could release only the amount that was available with us and asked them (the MCD) to start the work. They could have started the work earlier.”