Misadventure misfired for youth who ignored warnings

Forest dept hasn't permitted building road to temple near lake

Misadventure misfired for youth who ignored warnings

  It is that time of the year when people make a beeline for water bodies to relax and enjoy nature in its full splendour. But they should exercise caution as danger looms large, especially in the form of crocodiles.

Sunday’s incident where a start-up entrepreneur lost his hand after being attacked by a crocodile at Thattakere lake in Anekal forest division is yet another pointer of how misadventure can misfire.

“The victim, Mudit Dandwate, and his friend ventured into the water body, despite being warned. We have put up many signboards around the lake. Signages have been put up wherever crocodiles are present, warning people against venturing into the water body. But people do not listen. It is a very unfortunate incident. But he is lucky to have survived,” said Javed Mumtaz, deputy conservator of forests, Bannerghatta National Park.

According to forest officials, crocodiles are found in a number of water bodies on the city’s outskirts. “Crocodiles can survive even in marshes. They are very strong and can move on land too. Fences are put around the water bodies, but people do not pay attention in their excitement. This time, pre-monsoon showers and early monsoon rains have been good. The lakes are full of water. This has not only brought the crocodiles back, but has also drawn tourists,” said a forest official.

The officials list out popular water bodies where crocodiles are found - Bheemeshwari, Galibore, Sangam, Mekedatu, Ranganthittu on the banks of River Cauvery, Anekal and BNP. “A healthy water body is good in a way as man-animal conflict comes down. Thattakere is popular because people and forest staff have sighted at least 30 elephants taking a dip in the lake. The lake and the Male Mahadeshwara temple are located inside the forest. Local residents and temple authorities want the road leading to the temple to be asphalted. We are not permitting this, as it will attract more people and could lead to casualties like the one on Sunday,” said a forest official.

“We have listed over 200 water bodies around Bannerghatta where crocodiles are present. Signboards have been put up everywhere, warning people not to enter the lakes. But they do not listen,” Mumtaz said. Announcements are frequently made on loudspeakers, asking residents not to wash their clothes or bathe in the water bodies. “The rush is high during weekends and festivals. The full 400-staff strength of Bannerghatta has been pressed into duty to ensure there are no untoward incidents during the long weekend this time,” he said.

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