M A I N   N E W S

Big cats forced to diet at Chhat Bir
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chhat Bir (Patiala), May 25
The big cats at Chhat Bir Zoo are in bad shape. Yes, their regular meat supply has been cut by almost 60 per cent for the past three days. These animals cannot protest, but their prying eyes and restless behaviour in their enclosures is enough evidence of their starving condition. To top it the authorities at the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park are paying through their nose for the 60 per cent of the meat supply for the carnivores.

Such a situation has been forced on the zoo authorities ever since the contractor supplying them buffalo meat from Saharanpur suspended the meat supply three days back. The cries of the starving animals forced the zoo authorities to go in for goat and chicken meat at Rs 140 a kg.. This was a big amount compared to the Rs 19.50 per kg for buffalo meat. Because of the financial crunch the quantity of the meat had to be slashed by almost half. As against the regular supply of 350 kg of buffalo meat the authorities could buy only 190 kg of goat meat.

Interestingly the zoo authorities have been spending about Rs 26,600 daily on goat and chicken meat as against the regular expenditure of Rs 5,850 on buffalo meat.

This is not the first time that contractors supplying buffalo meat to the zoo have suspended the supply despite signing on the tender forms. This has happened earlier also.

Sources in the zoo disclosed that Mr Shabeer Mohammad who was allocated the tender for supplying buffalo meat from Saharanpur at Rs 19.80 per kg from April 1, surrendered his contract within 55 days. He expressed his inability to continue meat supply to the zoo.

The reason for the suspension of the meat supply was obvious. Buffalo meat is selling in Saharanpur around Rs 30 to Rs 35 per kg. The contractor had signed the tender for Rs 19.50 a kg and hired a supplier for the delivery of the buffalo meat. The loss of Rs 15 per kg was too much, according to a source.

Suspension of meat supply to the zoo has happened earlier also. It is time the zoo authorities invited tenders only from professionals in the buffalo meat trade.

Employees in the zoo said that the animals were not only being fed half the quantity of meat , but the supplies were reaching the enclosures at odd hours.

The zoo director, Mr Kuldeep Kumar, admitted that the meat contractor had suspended the meat supply 55 days after being given the contract. He said the best possible efforts were made to provide goat meat and chicken to the animals from the local market.

He said: “We are tying up with a couple of buffalo meat export houses in Dera Bassi for regular meat supply to the zoo”.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |