THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After a gap of five years, Thiruvananthapuram Zoo authorities have awarded a tender to catch fish from the artificial 3.5 acre pond in the city Zoo. With the water level receding, the oxygen level in the pond has dipped and the fish population is dying. A private individual has won the tender under which Rs 147 per kilogram of fish catch has to be paid. The pond has carp(catla), pearlspot and Rohu variety fish. Two years ago, during the peak summer period, Zoo authorities were caught off guard when an all-time record water level of 160 mm was reached.
But,now it has almost hit a low with the fish population meeting an early death. This prompted the Zoo authorities to think of floating a tender to catch fish rather than contaminating the existing water on the artificial pond. “In a day or two, the order will be issued where the contractor who won the tender will catch the fish from the pond” , said K. Gangadaran, Museum and Zoo director to DC. Zoo officials have been using the water from the pond for the cleaning of several dozen enclosures and also to fill the water area in the Hippopotamus enclosure. But even so, Zoo keepers have been relying on water kept at dozens of storage tanks with unofficial statistics revealing that on an average day, the Zoo requires almost a lakh litres of water.
Another Zoo official told DC that despite city dwellers running helter-skelter for drinking water, the Zoo has not been badly affected, as feared so far. “Fortunately, we have several storage tanks for the day to day functioning of the Zoo. By the next summer season, we would have to think of digging a well where water can be stored in an overhead tank”, said another Zoo official to DC. Now the two questions before the Zoo officials are - how many kilos of fish bounty would the contractor get? And what varieties of fish would be there in the catch? Well, a few more days and answers to both questions will be available.