A non-Indian agency has advised the West Bengal government on the significance of an endangered species trying to battle for survival right within the city limits. The state government has drawn up a plan to preserve and set up a sanctuary of riverine dolphins in the Gangetic plain.
A census would be conducted in December, using the satellite-based GIS system and the traditional method based on sightings, said chief conservator of forests, Atanu Raha. This time, the training was conducted by two experts from Orissa who have done a similar survey in the Bhitarkanika National Park. Officials from Bangladesh who had been doing the survey in their riverine system will also provide necessary expertise.
Bangladesh will also lend a helping hand as they have been involved in dolphin conservation in Padma for quite sometime now. “Experts from our country will visit Bangladesh before the project is launched,” said UNDP assistant resident representative Shireen Kamal Sayeed. “According to the sightings, it appears that there are a good number of dolphins in the Hooghly. But there is no central data or a sanctuary as yet. We will use the GIS system to track the animals,” Raha said. The plan will then be drawn up to set up a dolphin sanctuary.