61 deer at Uran naval sta­tion to be shifted to Tansa na­ture park

En­dan­gered spot­ted deer were housed at a tem­po­rary shel­ter for 23 years

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­abi@hin­dus­tan­times.com Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­abi@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Around 40,000 chil­dren in Navi Mum­bai will have their eyes ex­am­ined in the next six months.

The ini­tia­tive, Nanhe Nayan 2016, fo­cuses on pro­tect­ing the school­child­ren’s vi­sion through free eye check-ups. Teams of One Vi­sion Health and Re­search Foundation and eye doc­tors from Ad­vanced Eye Hos­pi­tal and In­sti­tute will con­duct the eye check-ups start­ing from Au­gust 1.

About 60 schools from Nerul, Sanpada, Vashi, Kharghar, Kopar Khairane, Pan­vel and Belapur have part­nered with One Vi­sion Health and Re­search Foundation and Ad­vanced Eye Hos­pi­tal and In­sti­tute as the eye care part­ner.

Dr Van­dana Jain, di­rec­tor of AEHI, said: “Most eye prob­lems in chil­dren can be solved by di­ag­nos­ing them in time. Some chil­dren have eye al­ler­gies or eye mus­cle im­bal­ance which in­ter­feres with their vi­sion and school per­for­mance.”

She said, “As a part of Nanhe Nayan ini­tia­tive, we are plan­ning to train teach­ers to iden­tify school­child­ren with eye prob­lems as well take lec­tures for stu­dents about eye­care in the next three months.”

This is the third year of the Nanhe Nayan drive. “Last year, we checked around 21,000 chil­dren. The re­sults showed that al­most 22% of school chil­dren have un­di­ag­nosed eye prob­lems,” said Dr Jain.

The en­dan­gered spot­ted deer, that have been housed in a tem­po­rary deer park at Uran naval sta­tion for years, will soon be shifted to Na­ture Park at Tansa, Sha­ha­pur, in Thane district.

The 61 deer are ex­pected to be shifted by mid-Au­gust.

The deer that had been con­fined in a lim­ited space and faced a num­ber of prob­lems, even threat to life, will now be able to roam about freely in the sanc­tu­ary. The shift will also re­lieve the naval of­fi­cers and forest depart­ment of­fi­cials of the re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Twenty-three years ago, of­fi­cers of Uran naval sta­tion had got three pairs of rare chee­tal deer from the zoo in Mum­bai to the area for re­cre­ation pur­pose.

Enough space was pro­vided for the three pairs of deer. The of­fi­cials had also ap­pointed a care­taker to en­sure that the deer were looked af­ter.

Over the years, the deer count reached 61. The rise in the deer pop­u­la­tion has led to the space avail­able be­ing in­ad­e­quate. There is also a se­ri­ous is­sue of feed­ing such a large pop­u­la­tion.

The navy which is en­trusted with the job of pro­tect­ing the coun­try does not have the al­lo­ca­tion to in­crease per­son­nel for tak­ing care of the deer.

This has led to ne­glect of the deer which could prove costly as their lives are en­dan­gered. Some­time ago, two deer were re­ported to have crossed over from deer park to Ke­gao vil­lage area where they died.

Shocked by the death of the two an­i­mals, an­i­mal lovers and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists blamed the naval sta­tion and forest depart­ment for the in­ci­dent.

Ac­cept­ing that the navy will not be able to take proper care of the deer, the then Lt com­man­der KR Khillare wrote to the forest depart­ment, ask­ing them to shift the deer to a safe lo­ca­tion. The is­sue was also raised in the assem­bly by the lo­cal MLA. The forest depart­ment con­se­quently started mak­ing ef­forts to shift the deer.

Forest officer Suren­dra Kale im­me­di­ately wrote to his su­pe­ri­ors, say­ing that there was a threat to the lives of the deer and that they need to be shifted to a safe place ur­gently.

Fol­low­ing the ques­tion on the is­sue in the assem­bly, the forest depart­ment had checked with Ji­jabai Udyan in Mum­bai and Borivli National Park on the pos­si­bil­ity of shift­ing them there.

DB Gaik­wad, forest se­cu­rity officer, said: “The 61 deer will be shifted in the sec­ond week of Au­gust to Na­ture Park in Tansa.”

He added, “Se­nior of­fi­cial of Thane forest depart­ment MM Kulka­rni has writ­ten to the Naval of­fi­cers in Uran over the shift­ing.”


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