The Alipore Zoological Gardens has installed more CCTV cameras on the premises and at animal enclosures to keep an eye on the visitors during the ensuing festive rush.
The idea, according to a senior official, is to check harassment of animals. Alipore zoo director Asish Kumar Samanta said they had installed at least 20 new CCTV cameras in different zoo enclosures. “The new cameras have been installed at the enclosures of kangaroos, deer and at the reptile house. We already had 40 cameras and the installation of the new set brings the entire zoo under CCTV coverage,” added Samanta. According to him, more than 20 lakh people visited the zoo in last December and January.
The cops also expressed satisfaction over installation of CCTV cameras at the enclosures. “While the footage are important to stop harassment of animals, we were also concerned about one more thing — the area is a VIP zone that is used by the CM’s convoy every day. Besides security drills each year, our watch section manages to nab a number of pickpockets from the zoo. Once we have CCTV footage, we can identify the gangs and repeat offenders,” said a senior officer.
An official said there was another purpose for installation of additional cameras. “We want to keep an eye on the animal behaviour as well. For example, we are in the process of installing CCTV cameras at the enclosure of fishing cats, for which we have taken up a captive-breeding programme. Besides, CCTV cameras are also being installed on the premises of the zoo hospital to keep an eye on sick animals,” said state zoo authority member secretary V K Yadav.
The authorities are also planning to send a proposal to the state pollution control board to make zoo a plastic-free zone. “Besides, we will write to Kolkata Police to make the area around zoo a nohonking zone,” Yadav had said earlier.
The police, meanwhile, have drawn up elaborate plans to check traffic congestion outside the zoo. “The idea is to ensure that cars coming from Vidyasagar Setu and turning right towards D L Khan Road do not block traffic towards Rabindra Sadan. Similarly, our experiment allowing vehicles from D L Khan Road to cross the Race Course-PTS crossing in groups by segregating traffic near D L Khan Road-Sambhunath Pandit Street has worked well so far,” said an officer. Lalbazar said short-term proposals had been chalked out to de-congest the locality that witnesses traffic snarls that extend up to 1.5km on weekends in December and January.
Source: Times of India