Plea filed in Delhi HC for safety measures in zoos

A plea seeking directions to implement safety measures in zoological parks in the country to deal with in any untoward incidents and emergency situations was filed in the Delhi High Court Thursday.

New Delhi: A plea seeking directions to implement safety measures in zoological parks in the country to deal with in any untoward incidents and emergency situations was filed in the Delhi High Court Thursday.

The PIL came a days after a 20-year-old youth was mauled to death by a white tiger in Delhi zoo Tuesday. The victim, Maqsood from Anand Parbat in central Delhi apparently crossed the stand-off barrier and "jumped" into the enclosure.

The public interest litigation was filed by advocate Sunil Kumar, who said he was concerned over the safety of the people visiting zoological parks across the country. It said zoos in Singapore and US have alarm and collapsible ladders that can immediately help a person out, but the Delhi zoo does not have adequate wiring systems.

"Had there been adequate measures in Delhi zoo, the life of Maqsood could have been saved," said the plea.

Zoological parks house many endangered species, many of them are ferocious by nature, which calls for and rather makes it more important to equip them with speedy and effective ways of preparedness, it said.

The plea noted that the Delhi zoo does not have any arrangement for tranquilizer guns at the spot, and had there been proper arrangement for such shots with guards, the incident could have been very well avoided and a life of a youth could have been saved.

"There is only one guard on each of the 20 zoo beats. This number is alarming, because one guard cannot be expected to control and guard so many visitors and moreover in case of emergency, one guard will find himself in a difficult position to control such a situation. There must be more guards deployed on each beat," the PIL stated.

It also noted that the fencing was not appropriately tall to avoid any kind of attempt to cross or jump over the barriers. Authorities have failed to inst all proper and sufficient fencing around the beats of ferocious animals in such a way to make it difficult for any visitor to jump over the fences, it added.

The PIL also noted that there is no strict enforcement against the erring visitors in zoos here. "There is no safety awareness session for visitors before they enter into the zoos," the plea said, seeking a direction to the central government and the Central Zoo Authority to assess safety conditions in zoos in the country and suggest measures to tackle emergency situations.

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