Delhi likely to get its first wild animal rescue Centre at Rajokri
New Delhi, Sep 16: Delhi is likely to get its first wild animal rescue centre by the end of the year, forest department officials said on Wednesday. The facility will come up on a 1.24-acre plot in Rajokri where a monkey rescue centre is lying abandoned. Three five-member rapid response teams will be constituted to rescue stranded animals and rehabilitate them at the Rajokri facility, according to an official.
The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority has sanctioned funds for the wild animal rescue centre. The teams will be constituted in a month, while the facility will be ready by year-end, the official said.
The animal rescue centre will come up in place of a proposed facility for birds. "There was a proposal for a wild bird rescue centre pending before the Supreme Court-constituted Central Empowered Committee. The panel said there was no need for it considering only kites, pigeons and other such birds will be treated there," an official told news agency PTI.
The panel was not quite convinced about setting aside government resources for birds, which are not of great conservation value and asked the forest department to provide data justifying the requirement of such a centre.
"When we went through data of animals rescued, we came to know that birds alone did not justify a separate facility. But if we talk of wild animals rescued, such as nilgai, mongoose, monkeys and jackals, and reptiles, there is more than adequate justification," the official said.
Approval of the Ridge Management Board was needed to "broaden" the proposal of a wild bird rescue centre to an animal rescue centre. The proposal was to be discussed at a meeting of the Ridge Management Board on January 18, which could not be convened in view of the Assembly polls in February.
Thereafter, it was delayed due to the COVID-19-triggered lockdown. "The proposal will now be discussed in a board meeting scheduled on Friday. Once we have the approval, we will approach the Supreme Court-appointed committee with adequate justification," the official said. Approval of the Supreme Court through the panel is required to use Ridge land for any other purpose.