Concerns rise in Ranthambore as aquatic life declines in pond

Concerns rise in Ranthambore as aquatic life declines in pond

Authorities uncovered bags and bottles containing deadly pesticides and chemicals strewn along the pond's shore...

 
Ranthambore National Park Pond

On Sunday 10 September 2023, a distressing incident unfolded near the Ranthambore National Sanctuary as approximately 1.5 lakh aquatic animals, including fish, frogs, snakes, and birds, were discovered lifeless in a pond covering an area of 10 bighas. This grim discovery occurred just 500 meters away from the sanctuary's boundaries. On the scene, authorities uncovered bags and bottles containing deadly pesticides and chemicals strewn along the pond's shore, intensifying concerns about a potential environmental catastrophe.

Local villagers have expressed their concerns and allege that the Baharawanda Khurd Panchayat, a local governing body, collected Rs 80,000 in July, implying possible links between this incident and the funds. Further investigations reveal that in 2017, the pond was awarded on contract to four contractors from Jaipur, with the purpose of cultivating water chestnuts. This historical context adds complexity to the situation.

As this distressing event continues to unfold, authorities are taking steps to assess the extent of the environmental damage and ascertain responsibility for this devastating incident. The impact on local ecosystems and wildlife remains a significant concern, and measures are being taken to address the situation and prevent similar occurrences in the future. On September 6, in an effort to boost production, pesticides and chemicals were sprayed from 10 boats throughout the day. Unfortunately, this activity has led to the disappearance of 2 crocodiles, while 5 others are in a critical condition in the pond. In the surrounding forest area, hundreds of wildlife species, including 7 tigers, 12 panthers, and 9 bears, roam. Additionally, domesticated cattle also frequent the area to drink water, and they too are at risk due to this situation.

Comments

"The villagers' claims are false. There are no crocodiles in the pond, and no aquatic creatures have perished. Pesticides were not used." - Kasturi Koli, Sarpanch, Baharawanda Khurd

"I arrived at the location, and many aquatic animals have perished in the pond. Drinking water here also endangers wildlife." - Mahesh Sharma, Ranger, ROPT

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