Union Jal Shakti Ministry intervenes to protect dolphins

Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 16

The Union Jal Shakti Ministry has taken up the issue of preservation of dolphins in the Ganges with the authorities in Uttar Pradesh.

The Ministry’s move is in the wake of the brutal killing of a dolphin, which is an endangered species on New Year eve in Pratapgarh district of the state.

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) of the Ministry has taken up the killing of the freshwater dolphin with authorities in Pratapgarh to ensure that they are kept out of harm’s way in the future.

“This horrific incident of attack on Gangetic dolphin is distressing to people throughout the country,” Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director-General of NMCG said.

“We have spoken to the DM, Pratapgarh requesting action against culprits and understand that three of the people involved have been arrested.”

  The NMCG said that the Forest Department is carrying out patrolling in the areas where Gangetic Dolphins have been sighted to prevent the occurrence of any such incident.

Besides, it has conveyed an advisory to the District Administration, the Ganga Doors (“Ganga Prahrees”) who are volunteers under the  Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangarhan ( NYKS) programme and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to conduct an intensive awareness campaign to sensitise and prevent such inhuman attack on country’s rich biodiversity.

The Union government had declared dolphins as the national aquatic animal in 2009 to save them from extinction.

The Gangetic dolphins are a rare species.

The NMCG, which implements Centre’s flagship clean-Ganga project, has initiated several activities to increase the dolphin population to restore the majesty of the Ganges in all its dimensions, including its rich eco-system   

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the ‘Dolphin Project’ in August, last year, to boost conservation of both the river and sea dolphins.

A river dolphin can survive only in freshwater. Its presence is barometer of the health of the entire river ecosystem.

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