Mohali: Death of hundreds of wild animals on dry Perch Dam bed angers villagers : The Tribune India

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Mohali: Death of hundreds of wild animals on dry Perch Dam bed angers villagers

Mohali: Death of hundreds of wild animals on dry Perch Dam bed angers villagers

The dry bed of the Perch Dam.



Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 20

The death of hundreds of wild animals on the dry bed of the Perch Dam has caused outrage among local residents, environmentalists, nature lovers, NGOs and political parties.

The wild animals searching for water in the intense heat died after getting stuck in the silt on dry bed. As there is no source of water nearby for the sustenance of wildlife, several NGOs and youth clubs have come to the rescue of animals. Artificial watering holes have been dug up and filled with water with the help of tankers.

A watering hole created by NGOs near the dam.

The Forest, Irrigation or Mining departments have failed to desilt the reservoir bed, which has exacerbated the situation.

Sourabh Gupta, Chief Wildlife Warden, Punjab; and Kulraj Singh, DFO, Wildlife Rupnagar, blamed the excessive heat for the grim situation. Around 12 tankers are pressed into service daily. The same practice is being followed in other areas where there is an acute shortage of water for wildlife, they said.

The Mohali administration has also ordered the various departments to provide tankers to fill watering holes in the dam area till the onset of monsoon.

Deputy Commissioner Aashika Jain said the delayed monsoon and rise in temperatures had caused this severe problem and the administration, with the help of villagers and NGOs, was trying to cope with the scarcity of water by supplying water through tankers.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) Sonam Chaudhary visited the spot to take stock of the situation.

The DC said as the reservoir was situated on the land belonging to the Forest Department, the officials concerned had been requested to give the nod to desilt the bed without any further delay.

To provide a sustainable solution to the water scarcity in future, the Department of Soil Conservation has been asked to prepare a plan to address the issue of accumulation of silt. The demand put forth by the villagers for installing temporary tubewells would also be raised with the Forest Department.

Register FIR against officials: BJP

Senior BJP leader and Punjab State Media Head of BJP Vineet Joshi has called for the registration of an FIR against the officials of Irrigation, Wildlife Preservation, Forest and Mining departments of the Punjab Government, holding them accountable for the death of more than 650 animals at the dry Perch Dam in Mohali. Joshi, who visited the dam for the second consecutive day on Thursday, was accompanied by residents of Baddi Perch, Chotti Perch, Nadda and Seonk villages. “The silt accumulation, now as deep as 15 metre or 50 feet, with cracks 4-5 ft deep, has turned the reservoir into a death trap for animals,” Joshi stated.

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