Tuesday, 6 December 2011

No end in sight for stray menace

NAGPUR: Once again city airport may emerge as a wildlife lovers' delight and a nightmare for the pilots. Just five months after Mihan India Limited (MIL) officials, the operators of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, claimed to have caught two wild animals and cleared the airport from animal menace, airport sources claimed that at least three to four wild animals (deer), over 30 to 35 pigs, stray dogs and almost 15 peacocks have been spotted roaming near the operational area in last few days. 

On Friday night, one more deer death was reported at the airport. Stray dogs, peacocks and pigs can be seen in the vicinity of the airport; however, this is the first sighting of deer inside the airport premises just after five months, airport sources said. 

Wild animals have been sighted in remote IAF area at Shivangaon and at the Jaitala-end of runway, particularly in the night time. 

A senior MIL official said that two animals were trapped in July and released in forest, while two others were hit by aircrafts- one by Jet Lite on May 15 and another by Air India flight on June 27. One deer was trapped and released in Hingana on May 17, while other - a two-year old barking deer, which has been thought to be the lone wild animal roaming inside the vast campus, was trapped at by forest officials. 

However, MIL and Nagpur forest division have been unable to check the animals. Though they claimed that they have repaired the boundary wall, it's clear that there are breaches. 

MIL COO, Abadesh Prasad said that a team of MIL officials once again conducted an inspection of entire airport boundary wall and operational area on Monday. During the inspection, the team, however, could not spot a single wild animal or stray animal. "Even then we will conduct a survey of entire airport campus till the next few days for more animals," Prasad said. 

The airport operation area is guarded by six persons on the 3200-metre runway in 8-hours shift. They position the fire crackers to target birds flying over the runway and light 'sutli bombs' if animals are spotted close to runway and even trap animals. 

"But they seem to have not been doing their job properly in last four months," Prasad admitted.  

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