25 September 2019
Bhubaneswar: Nandankanan Zoological Park which has been in the news recently for the wrong reasons-death of four elephants in less than a month possibly due to suspected elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV) infection, remained shut for about an hour as protestors staged a dharna over the death of the animals.
Hundreds of locals under the banner of Nandankanan Pasu Pakshi Surakshya Manch (NPPSM) staged a mass agitation in front of the zoo's main gate protesting against the death of pachyderms.
The protestors demanded shifting of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation's (BMC) waste dump from Bhuasuni alleging that the dumpyard was spreading disease and causing death of animals and humans as well.
"Nandankanan is almost on the verge of losing all its elephants. We want to wake the government up from its slumber to this reality. Elephants are dying due to virus infection,” said Tapan Chakraborty, Convenor of NPPSM.
“Bhuasuni open waste dump is the breeding ground for the virus. Elephants are dying, several people are being afflicted with diseases due to this waste dump.Since the waste dump is located near Chandaka wildlife sanctuary and Nandankanan Zoological Park we demand its immediate relocation," demanded Chakraborty.
He also demanded for getting new animals and birds in the zoo in place of the animals that have died.
Jatni MLA and senior Congress leader Suresh Chandra Routray had also joined the protestors in their protest dharna.
Routray, who had been long demanding shifting of the BMC waste dump from Bhuasuni threatened to gherao the BMC office on October 25 and further intensify the agitation if the municipal corporation fails to relocate the waste dump.
"We will gherao the BMC office on October 25 if it fails to shift the garbage dump from Bhuasuni. This agitation will be further intensified till this garbage dump is relocated,” warned Routray.