Mysore Zoo to be on alert till showers stop

However, the sigh of relief is that the authorities of the century-old Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens is that they are pumping water from the lake as and when it  crosses the danger mark. Already, nearly three feet of water has been released from the lake in the last 24 hours.

“No reason for any concern”. This is how Markandaiah, executive director of the zoo when Deccan Herald sought to know from him the preparedness to deal with the rains. All the birds and animals are safe in their respective enclosures and citizens need not panic about them. Any amount of temporary measures would not help to mitigate this problem as they need to take permanent measures to deal with the problem of rain water entering the zoo premises. “It is because of the gradient problem the water enters whenever heavy rains pound the city”.

Special team

As the say goes “once bitten twice shy” the authorities are fully geared up to meet any eventuality. A special team comprising a veterinary doctor, a range forest officer and four guards with a jeep is constituted. The team will work round the clock and take quick measures if they see water gushing into the zoo. “In fact, I visited the zoo around midnight since the city was experiencing rains. I spent nearly one and a half hours in the zoo and supervised some minor works to ensure smooth flow of water”.

The executive director said plans are afoot to take up certain measures to solve this problem permanently. They are planning to construct wider box type culvert and also to widen the existing culvert so that the water flows without any obstruction.

Main problem

The main problem is that the culvert passes through several enclosures. So naturally the enclosures were inundated with rain water. This happened on Friday as heavy rains lashed the city. The rain water from the Chamundi Hills naturally entered the Karanji Tank and subsequently it created mess inside the zoo premises. Changing the position of culvert inside the zoo is just not possible. What they have to do is to go for latest box type drains so that it does not create mess inside the premises during showers.

Markandaiah said the depth of the Karanji Tank is around 15 to 20 feet and it gets water from the Chamundi Hills side thanks to natural gradient.

The lake staff are emptying excess water as and when the water level crosses the danger mark. Sudden release of water causes problems for residents staying in surrounding areas. “We have to carefully release water by taking into account safety of hundreds of birds and animals inside the zoo. Luckily, the snake enclosures are located elsewhere because of which they were safe. The snakes that were found in rain water were ‘water snakes’ which are found in plenty in Karanji Lake,” he noted.

It may be mentioned here that rains had created havoc in the zoo on Friday after heavy rains lashed the city on Thursday night.

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