Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As part of its ongoing efforts to contain the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) inside its premises, the city zoo has begun constructing two ‘foot dips’ at the entry and exit points of the zoo compound.

The technical committee set up to help the zoo authorities manage the FMD situation had recommended that the foot dips be set up to prevent the FMD virus from entering or leaving the zoo through the foot wear of visitors.

According to zoo superintendent S. Abu a thick mat will be placed inside the rectangular foot dip that will first be filled with a disinfectant solution.

When a visitor steps on to this mat on his way inside the zoo premises the disinfectants will come into contact with the soles of his footwear. “The footwear will not be damaged in any manner. Any bacteria or virus in the soles will be destroyed. This method of sterilisation is effective against many pathogens and not just against the FMD virus,” he explained.

The technical committee had also proposed that an ‘air curtain’ device be installed at the entry point. It is understood that the zoo officials do not consider this as a practical suggestion.

Minister’s order

Meanwhile, the zoo authorities are yet to act on Culture Minister M.A. Baby’s directive to remove the steel pipe-frames welded in place along the length of the Museum’s boundary wall. The frames were put in place preparatory to the erection of a link-mesh fence along the wall.

Mr. Baby, during his speech after inaugurating the Sree Chithra enclave on July 4, said that he had asked zoo officials to “immediately” remove the pipe frames. Such kind of construction should not have been done on the Museum premises, which is a heritage complex, he said.