‘Python’ miss­ing from south Delhi park, res­cuers search for two days

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Metro - Ri­tam.halder@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The snake that had taken refuge in Gee­tan­jali En­clave’s cen­tral park is miss­ing for two days and res­cuers haven’t been able to lo­cate it.

On Thurs­day, Hin­dus­tan Times re­ported that res­i­dents have stopped ven­tur­ing out to the park as a python had taken refuge there for the past one month.

Ac­cord­ing to res­cuers from the NGO Wildlife SOS, the snake, which wasn’t a python but a non­ven­omous sand boa, has wan­dered away.

“Our teams went on both Thurs­day and Fri­day but no snake was found at the park. It might have wan­dered some­where. The photo which the res­i­dents showed is that of a sand boa, which is not poi­sonous. It is not a python and be­cause of the photo it is look­ing big­ger than what it ac­tu­ally is,” a Wildlife SOS of­fi­cial said.

Res­i­dents, how­ever, have de­cided to keep the park’s gate locked. “We have even de­puted a guard out­side the park to keep peo­ple away, es­pe­cially chil­dren. We have spot­ted the python at least five to six times in the past few days. They (the res­cuers) said they couldn’t find any­thing. How­ever, If an in­ci­dent takes place, who will be re­spon­si­ble for it,” said Giri Khanna, vice-pres­i­dent of Gee­tan­jali En­clave co-op­er­a­tive so­ci­ety.

But why did this Sand Boa de­cide to take shel­ter in this neigh­bour­hood park? Ex­perts say grow­ing habi­tat de­struc­tion and en­croach­ment is rapidly blur­ring the lines be­tween cities and forests. Con­se­quently, the wildlife liv­ing in prox­im­ity to such ex­pand­ing ar­eas have no choice but to for­age or seek shel­ter in ur­ban habi­tats.

mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions of Delhi have set a dead­line of Oc­to­ber 2 dead­line to make the na­tional cap­i­tal open defe­ca­tion-free.

In a re­cent meet­ing chaired by Delhi lieu­tenant gov­er­nor Anil Bai­jal, the com­mis­sion­ers of the south and east civic bod­ies, said they would make their ar­eas open defe­ca­tion-free by Oc­to­ber 2.

But the North cor­po­ra­tion com­mis­sioner as­sured that it would be done by De­cem­ber 15.

A se­nior of­fi­cial of the south cor­po­ra­tion said the civic body had started the process of in­stalling 100 mo­bile toi­let vans at slum clus­ters fall­ing un­der its ju­ris­dic­tion, in or­der to achieve the 100% open defe­ca­tion-free (ODF) tag.

The civic agency has ear­marked sites across 104 wards. An amount of ₹12 crore has been al­lo­cated for the pro­ject.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials, the pro­ject aims to sup­ple­ment the ef­forts of the Delhi Ur­ban Shel­ter Im­prove­ment Board (DUSIB) and Rail­ways —the agen­cies re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­i­ties in slums.

“The densely pop­u­lated ar­eas in Okhla, Nizamuddin and Tugh­lak­abad face space con­straints in con­struct­ing com­mu­nity toi­lets as they are near rail­way lines. So the south civic body has de­cided to place mo­bile toi­let vans here,” said a se­nior of­fi­cial from SDMC.

Ac­cord­ing to pa­ram­e­ters of the Swachh Bharat Mis­sion, any ur­ban lo­cal body can de­clare its wards ODF only if it is suc­cess­ful in pro­vid­ing pub­lic con­ve­niences at 75% of its ar­eas. Also, there should be pro­vi­sion for toi­lets within 500 me­tres of slum set­tle­ments.

Bai­jal has di­rected all mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sion­ers and the Delhi De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity to cre­ate more multi-level stack park­ing and sur­face park­ing in their ar­eas for the smooth im­ple­men­ta­tion of the up­com­ing ‘Park­ing Pol­icy.’

The North Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion had an­nounced con­struc­tion of 10 stack park­ing lots near metro sta­tions, es­pe­cially on the Green Line — that con­nects Mundka and In­der­lok sta­tions.

The South Cor­po­ra­tion has de­cided to con­struct th­ese park­ings near busy mar­kets, metro sta­tions as well as res­i­den­tial ar­eas so that th­ese fa­cil­i­ties can be used by visi­tors and res­i­dents.

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