Infosys Foundation donates Rs. 1 crore towards development of biological park

For four months now, animals at the Bannerghatta zoo have had to wallow in stagnant, shallow and smelly water, brought on by an acute water crisis here. The crisis is evident across the zoo and especially visible in enclosures of hippos, water birds and other animals that need water bodies to thrive.

Some of the hippos, which usually prefer being submerged in the water, are to be seen floating in the stinking, algae-ridden water while others are found to be sleeping in dry tanks. To address the water shortage, five borewells have been installed at the zoo, the safari and the rehabilitation centre.

Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, Sudha Murthy, who visited the Bannerghatta Biological Park on Thursday, inaugurated the borewells which had been installed with the help of the Infosys Foundation. The borewells would help in providing visitors and animals with drinking water, Ms. Murthy said.

Mrs. Murthy remarked that she had observed scarcity of water in the park during a safari she took about a fortnight ago.

This had prompted her to volunteer for provide financial support to redress the issue. She announced that that the Infosys Foundation had earmarked Rs. one crore for development work in the park.

Mohammed Ali, deputy director of the park, said that there had been severe shortage of water since the last four months, a matter aggravated by low rainfall.

Of the amount donated by the foundation, Mr. Ali said that an estimated Rs. 25 lakh would go installation of the borewells . The remaining budget, he said, would go in the construction of an overhead tank and for a tiger enclosure at the park. An additional Rs. 10 lakh will be contributed towards the welfare of non-permanent employees at the park.

“There are many non-permanent employees working at the park. I have asked the park authorities to provide me with a list of these employees so that money can be distributed annually from the budget of Rs. 10 lakh on humanitarian grounds. ,” Ms. Murthy said. The park’s employees association also demanded that the contract system be abolished as they claimed they had no life security even though most of them had served for 20 years.

New animals

Meanwhile, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, R. S. Suresh said that they planned to bring in four zebras from South Africa as well as a pair of giraffes to the Bannerghatta park.

They have also written to the Central Government for double humped camels to be brought from Lei, Ladakh to the park and are awaiting approval, he said.

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