As KMC drags heels, 150 oldest and biggest tortoises die in Kanpur’s historic pond

Demand for tubewell to bring water into pond naturally goes unheeded; KMC’s beautification drive worsens situation
The dead tortoises in the pond which the Kanpur Municipal Corporation is supposed to maintain. (HT Photo)
The dead tortoises in the pond which the Kanpur Municipal Corporation is supposed to maintain. (HT Photo)
Published on May 22, 2022 12:37 AM IST
Copy Link
By, Kanpur

The historic tortoise pond behind the famous Panki temple has been home to the oldest and biggest tortoises for ages.

Unfortunately, the tortoises are falling prey to the utter neglect of Kanpur Municipal Corporation (KMC) and are dying in large numbers.

In the last four years, 150 tortoises have died—the death rate has increased in the last two months when the temperature has soared and the pond has dried.

“Is there a way to save these tortoises? I have written a number of times to the authorities about this issue; they did not heed,” said Surendra Maithani, BJP MLA from Govindnagar. “Such indifference has made me write to the government and seek its intervention. One hundred and fifty tortoises have died so far,” he said.

The pond, said to be 400 years old, spreads in two bighas of land. The water supply was through natural resources but since large scale construction happened the natural inlets disappeared.

Devi Dayal Pathak, who is fighting for the survival of aquatic life, said the situation worsened from 2017 onwards. The KMC’s attention was drawn towards the lack of water in the pond. The corporation decided to spend 4 crore with the primary task of having a tubewell.

“The tubewell work never happened; instead the KMC opted for beautification, small bundhs were built in the middle of the pond at three places and the sides of ponds were turned pucca. It all worsened the situation further,” he said, adding that in view of the pond going shallow, the tortoises began dying one by one.

Earlier this week, a big tortoise aged around 30 died leading to a public uproar. Locals alleged that despite many meetings and reminders, the KMC did not get a tubewell. After the public outrage, the KMC sent a contractor who got a tubewell and filled up the pond partially.

District forest officer (DFO) Arvind Yadav said artificially filling the pond was not a solution to this problem. “After some time, the water will dry up. Efforts need to be made to bring in water naturally. We have sought the help of Turtle Alliance and its experts in conserving these turtles,” he said.

Now, the KMC was working to deepen the pond using machines and manually. Experts said this could further harm the tortoises, which get into the mud to survive when the water lessens. “The machines and spades at work can hurt or even kill them,” a forest official said.

Maithani said during winter, last year, several tortoises, each weighing 50 kg, had died but the KMC remained unmoved. Even the commissioner, Kanpur division, Raj Shekhar did nothing, he said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Haidar Naqvi covers central UP and Bundelkhand. He closely tracks developments in internal security in the region and beyond.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A full list of all 43 guidance centres, along with contact details of designated officials, is available on the education department’s website (HT Photo)

    Guidance centres to assist FYJC aspirants with online admissions

    Mumbai The state education department will operate 43 'guidance centres' across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region to assist class 11 aspirants from state board schools with the online admissions to first year junior college (FJYC) from June 27. The centres, officials said, will operate on a walk-in basis in select SSC schools from 10am to 2pm every day, with three officials present at every centre to address queries from parents and students.

  • Representational image.

    Agra: Woman thrown off 4th-floor balcony by husband, dies

    A 30-year-old woman died after Ritika Singh, the deceased was allegedly thrown off the fourth floor balcony of her house by her husband and four other people, police here said on Saturday. Police have arrested three people, including the woman's husband, Akash Gautam, and booked them in sections 302 (murder) and 34 (act done by several persons with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, they said.

  • While the circular released by the university on June 20 states that all MU-affiliated colleges, including autonomous institutes, will have to follow the admission schedule as prescribed by the varsity and accommodate students from CBSE and CISCE boards ‘in due course’, it gives no clarity on how these applications will be accommodated by individual colleges (HT Photo)

    Colleges seek ways to accommodate non-state board students

    Mumbai Admissions to minority quota across colleges affiliated with the University of Mumbai had to be completed by Saturday, June 25 this year. However, taking into consideration that non-state board students are still awaiting results in order to be able to apply, city colleges are finding ways to ensure that no student with merit goes without a seat in a college or course of his/her choice.

  • Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath at the Vigyan Bharti convention. (Deepak Gupta/HT)

    India has always been open to science-based knowledge: Yogi

    Lucknow Chief minister Yogi Adityanath said here on Saturday that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh always had a scientific approach and outlook because its RSS founder, Dr KB Hedgewar was a medical practitioner and had a science background. “Krishna's teaching to Arjun in Bhagwad Gita which is now 5000- years-old, still has meaning in modern times,” Yogi said. University professors were always on the look-out for promotions but hardly made effort for scientific publications.

  • The prosecution had examined eight witnesses in the case, but additional sessions judge BD Shelke acquitted them in view of several loopholes in the prosecution case. (StockPic)

    Court acquits two arrested for circulating counterfeit currency

    Mumbai: Accused of circulating counterfeit Indian currency notes in the city, two men, residents of Malda district in West Bengal were acquitted of the charges by a sessions court on Thursday. Suleman Razzak Shaikh, 53, and Sanaul Julum Insarali Shaikh, 29, were arrested with 60 counterfeit notes of 2000 denomination, on November 8, 2017. The anti-extortion cell of the Mumbai police crime branch had received a specific tip-off.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, June 25, 2022