Wednesday, 28 August 2013

HOT: Toy Train in Kanpur Zoo

KANPUR: The Kanpur zoo, also known as Allen Forest will soon have a toy train in place for which railway station and tracks are being laid at the zoo. However, project will be a valuable addition to the zoo but as a cost the forest will have to suffer a huge loss of greenery.

The work for the toy train has already been commenced but for carrying out this task, over 241 green trees including 'Neem' and 'Sheesham' coming in the way of the project, will be cut down. An equal number of trees will undergo trimming causing a huge loss of green cover to Allen Forest. The wildlife and nature lovers opined that if this exercise is undertaken, the place will loose its reputation of being a jungle.
According to the reliable sources, the toy train is scheduled to start operating in the month of January, next year. The haste is therefore, to cut down the green trees at the earliest to pave way for setting up a railway station. The marking on the trees and their numbering has been done for the purpose.
Not only this, the site of the station is next to the tiger's enclosure-where tigress Trusha (Royal Bengal Tiger) and her two cubs have been kept. The enclosure of Sloth beer, which also comes under the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is also neraby.
The wildlife experts believe that the development of the railway station here will add to the human activities and would bring the tigers under stress. Tiger is an endangered specie coming under the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act. Therefore, the idea of developing railway station next to tiger enclosure will not be good for the animals.
The wildlife enthusiasts opined that the zoos are set up for the purpose of public awareness and education about animals and not for earning revenue and entertainment. The toy train, which is proposed to run at the Kanpur zoo will earn revenue for the zoo but will also cause disturbance to the animals.
According to the guidelines of Central Zoo Authority (CZA), Statutory Body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, every zoo shall endeavor to regulate the movement of visitors in the zoo in such a manner that zoo animals are not unduly disturbed, stressed or provoked.
Gita Randhawa, a nature lover and wildlife enthusiast was shocked to know that such a large number of trees will be cut down in Kanpur zoo for constructing a railway station. "If the toy train is to come up by sacrificing so many Neem and Sheesham trees, just for entertainment, then definitely, the project is not viable," said an annoyed Gita
She further added that instead the battery fitted vehicles were a better idea than running a toy train or else efforts should not be made to operate a train in zoo, at least, not at the cost of cutting green trees.

Captain Pravin Chopra, another wildlife lover was too annoyed over the fact that 241 trees were to be cut by the zoo authorities for construction of a railway station and tracks.
"No reason can justify such a large scale of masacare of trees in Allen Forest. The old trees are as valuable as gold and once cut, even the new plantation will not be able to replace them. The efforts should be made to introduce the toy train without causing any loss to the greenery of the place or it will be of no use. I believe that all Kanpur people should stand against this issue. People should welcome the toy train but not at the cost of trees," said Captain Chopra.
He further added that the entire Kanpur has turned into a concrete jungle and only the zoo pocket was left lush green. Having a variety of trees the place serves as home to so many birds including Grey Hornbills. If the trees will be cut, the number of Grey Hornbills will dwindle further, he added.
Another wildlife lover said deforestation was the main reason behind the man-animal conflict and cutting of so many trees in Kanpur zoo will be an act of deforestation.
Dr SK Paul, a renowned veterinarian of the city said trees give shade to animals and protect them against heat in summers. If the trees will be cut, the zoo inmates will not get shade and zoo authorities need to think about it.
He said that raising a tree like Neem or Sheesham was like raising a child as it takes so many years. The loss of greenery should be avoided otherwise birds will be the worst hit as they will loose their habitat.


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