Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023 | Last Update : 11:57 PM IST

  Metros   Mumbai  13 Apr 2017  BMC washes hands of penguin’s death

BMC washes hands of penguin’s death

Published : Apr 13, 2017, 1:53 am IST
Updated : Apr 13, 2017, 1:54 am IST

Civic chief blames contractor, consultant; doesn’t elaborate on action to be taken against babus.

The penguins at the zoo.
 The penguins at the zoo.

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) report has blamed the contractor and consultant for the death of the Humboldt penguin Dory. The municipal commissioner, Ajoy Mehta, in his report on the bird’s death claimed that, “the death of penguin took place because the contractors didn’t pay attention and provide care that was needed.”

The BMC report also stated that action has been initiated against the contractor. However, the report doesn’t elaborate about action to be taken against civic officials who were involved in the project.

The report, dated February 6, said that according to the fact-finding report, it appears that the consultant has miserably failed to “guide” the staff and contractor.

The report also said that stringent action is being initiated against the consultant. Mr Mehta stated the contractor informally appointed Mr Tanmay Rai as a co-ordinator. Terming him as “suspicious”, the municipal commissioner said that his “criminal role” must be investigated.  

Further highlighting the action taken against the contractor, Mr Mehta stated that the maintenance staff will be gradually replaced over a period of one year and new staff will be appointed by the BMC. The letter stated “Annual maintenance period of the contractor will be reduced from five years to one year as suggested by the fact-finding committee.”  

Sunish Subramanian, founder of Plants and Animals Welfare Society (PAWS)  Mumbai, and the complainant said, “According to various observations in the report, false documents were submitted and the civic body had not verified some of them. Secondly, the signatures and seal were not obtained before making the payments, claiming that it is a practice followed often. Also mails were being sent to Mr. Rai, who has been blacklisted and the BMC has admitted this. The fact that Mr. Rai was in the thick of things in the penguins’ project indicates blatant reckless behaviour on part of the BMC officials. They have turned a blind eye to these developments in the matter and there was lack of diligence and a complete breach of duty.”

He also alleged that the municipal commissioner  has conveniently removed the names of BMC employees from the scope of liability without even providing reasons for the same.

The sad story so far

The BMC had spent Rs 2.57 crore to buy the South American species that are habituated to the cold climate of coastal Peru and Chile. The penguins were brought to Mumbai in July last year. This was done amid opposition from animal rights activists, as they feared for penguins’ survival. Citizens had also started a petition ‘Release penguins kept at inadequate zoo to a suitable sanctuary’. The petitioners had received a lot of support after Dory’s death. Following the death of the penguin, PAWS and the Humane Society International, a non–profit animal protection organisation, had written to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA).

Tags: bmc, ajoy mehta, paws, penguin’s death
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)