KANPUR ZOOLOGICAL Garden (Zoo) is well prepared to meet any exigency through its nine-point Disaster Management Plan (DMP). The zoo is the first in the country to prepare a DMP to ensure the safety of the animals and the citizens. Now the zoo has been asked to prepare the DMP for all the Indian zoos.
Talking to Hindustan Times, the director of the zoo, R Hemant Kumar said the DMP was finalised in April 2006 and it was first applied in the zoo on August 15 this year following the information about possible trouble by the terrorist organisations.
He said the DMP team, which was assigned the job of tackling the situation, performed the jobs for ensuring complete safety to the zoo premises. As per directives, they remained vigilant about the unclaimed packets or boxes lying on the campus and collected a few of them, which were thrown by the visitors in a manner, which could cause an alarm.
The director said that after considering several possibilities, which could cause a disastrous situation in the zoo, about nine pertinent probabilities were identified, which included fire, felling of trees, escape of animals from the enclosures, escape of animals from the zoo, spread of disease, explosion, pest control, management of rescued animals and civil unrest.
He said since the zoo had number of trees and there was always a threat of fir due to negligence of visitors or due to a deliberate action of the mischief-makers. Tree catching fire could cause heavy loss to the zoo inmates and the economy of the zoo. Felling of trees, especially near the enclosures or upon the moats due to any reason might allow the animals to use it as a stair to escape from the enclosure. Besides, the big animals could also escape by breaking the chain-link. Escaped animals could loiter within the campus or they could move outside the zoo area in the city causing panic among the citizens. These are the three gravest situations, which needed expert handling under the DMP, he said.
He said that the biggest danger was from the animals, who were provided pucca house in the enclosures. These houses were built some 35 years ago using lime as the brick binder. According to the norms of the PWD such building could collapse any time after 35 years as the lime damaged them during this period, he said.
He said that spread of diseases might raise an alarm. In case, the contagious diseases were not contained soon with the help of experts this might cause heavy loss to animal life. Similarly, it was necessary that well trained staff be pressed into service to detect any unclaimed article in the campus and to make suitable arrangements for its removal or disposal, he added.
Director said since there was no threat of flood either due to rains or because of the overflowing river water the flood threat was not included in the DMP, but the zoo staff was being trained to handle the flood situation in the zoo.
In order to handle various threatening situations, six teams of experts have been constituted, which remained alert all the time. The teams, which were constituted included emergency coordinators, emergency warning and communication, emergency assessment information giving team, team for maintenance of equipment, medical team and security team.