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Chandigarh's Sukhna Lake cordoned off after bird flu scare

A day after the dreaded avian influenza, H5N1, has been confirmed at the Sukhna lake, Chandigarh, the area was cordoned off early today.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: A day after the dreaded avian influenza, H5N1, has been confirmed at the Sukhna lake, Chandigarh, the area was cordoned off early today.

The step came after 35 geese died at the lake recently under mysterious circumstances.

Sukhna Lake was cordoned off this morning and entry for public was closed from the entrance of the water body to its regulator end as a precautionary measure, with boating and other activities for tourists stopped, officials said here.

Police personnel, wearing masks on their mouths, have also been deployed in the area.

Haryana and Punjab Raj Bhawans, besides residences of top bureaucrats, are located in the vicinity of the lake.

The authorities have also decided to begin the process of culling of nearly 70 ducks (geese) at the lake to prevent any outbreak of bird flu in the city.

"We have taken the decision to cull the geese, numbering around 70," Director of Chandigarh's Animal Husbandry Department Prince Dhawan said.

Dhawan, who is also UT's nodal officer for avian flu control measures, along with other officials of the department met senior officials of the UT administration to discuss the matter to tackle the situation.

Five rapid response teams have been formed and mobilised to counter any untoward situation.

The Sukhna lake has nearly 250 ducks and geese which are a star attraction for visitors.

The presence of the H5N1 virus was confirmed in a sample from one dead duck by the Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) Wednesday.

The Sukhna Lake is in an upscale, high-security area of Chandigarh - the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana and a union territory.

The residences of the Haryana and Punjab Governors, senior officers and other influential people are located close to the lake complex.

(With Agencies inputs)

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