70 exotic birds to add more colour to Chandigarh Bird Park
The Chandigarh forest and wildlife department has floated a tender to procure the 70 exotic birds by December this year
The UT forest and wildlife department is all set to add 70 more exotic birds of 12 different kinds to the Chandigarh Bird Park.
The department has floated a tender to procure the birds, which are expected to cost ₹70 lakh, by December this year.
But unlike the previous practice of procuring the birds through the department, this time the tender has been floated through the “Forest Society on Conservation (FOSCON)” with the deputy conservator of forest, Chandigarh, as the tendering authority.
Among the 12 kinds of birds, the department plans to procure 20 rainbow lorikeets; six ducorps cockatoos, golden pheasants, silver pheasants, guineafowls, ostriches and emus each; four crested cranes and black swans each; and two black-necked swans, white swans and umbrella cockatoos each.
According to a city-based breeder, the costliest birds among these are umbrella cockatoos and ducorps cockatoos, whose pairs can cost over ₹3 lakh to ₹4 lakh. While the prices of both white and black swans vary by their type, some can cost over ₹1 lakh per pair.
The price of a pair of rainbow lorikeets and golden pheasants can be over ₹30,000, while a pair of silver pheasant can cost ₹20,000 and guinea fowls ₹2,000 per pair.
The bird park, set up by the forest department in the Nagar Van area, was inaugurated in November last year.
The park is spread over 6.5 acres behind Sukhna Lake, with 58 feet flying height for birds and 200x150 feet ground area each for terrestrial and aquatic birds. The facility has two small aviaries and two-walk through aviaries.
There are around 250 pairs of birds in all, belonging to 48 species and sub-species. The main attractions include African love birds, budgerigars, white swan, black swan, wood duck, golden pheasant, yellow golden pheasant, melanistic pheasant, green-winged macaw, sun conures, African grey parrot and finches.
Tender through society raises eyebrows
Meanwhile, the department’s move to float the tender through a society has raised eyebrows.
RK Garg, president of the Second Innings’ Association, a senior citizens’ body, said, “I have sent a representation to the UT administrator to stop such clandestine activities to divert public funds to societies in an attempt to avoid scrutiny through audits.”
When contacted, UT chief conservator of forests Debendra Dalai said he had directed the officials to revisit the decision of floating tender through the society. However, he clarified that every single penny spent from government funds was audited. “Even if the tender is being floated through a society, it will still be under purview of audit. Still, I have asked the department to revisit this decision and float the tender through the department directly,” he said.
Strict tender conditions
An official said in order to ensure quality, certain conditions had been imposed on the prospective supplier.
The supplier will be required to submit certificates for import of the exotic birds, along with all health certificates, and any document statutorily and officially required. The health and laboratory investigation reports should be obtained from authority concerned.
They will also have to submit details of exotic birds related to age, sex, pedigree, identification (microchip/tag), photographs, etc. before transportation.
It will also be ensured that previous history and medical records, diet chart of exotic birds is supplied to the society and also the previous breeding records of exotic birds of the firm. All the birds should be legally registered as per Government of India norms.
According to the department, the safe transport of the birds will be the hired agency’s responsibility and mortality during transportation will not be borne by the department.
There will also be a hand-holding period of 45 days after the birds’ delivery. During this period, the department will observe the birds and any mortality will be the responsibility of the supplier.
The supplier may depute a technical person to look after the birds for 45 days at own cost. Any dead birds in this period will have to be replaced at the supplier’s cost within a month, else the cost of the bird will be deducted from the bill.
The department will also depute its own veterinary officer to inspect the health status of birds when flown in and they will be shifted to the aviaries only after a health certificate from the officer concerned.