Patna, June 28: Come July 15, Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park would be a plastic-free zone. People coming with polythene bags would have to transfer their belongings into jute bags provided by the authorities for a nominal price before entering the zoo.
The zoo authorities are making efforts to provide the jute bags to visitors at a nominal cost of Re 1 through a private agency. “We are trying our level best to start the jute bag facility for visitors at the earliest and make the zoo premises a plastic-free zone. We have appointed Servo Oil as the supplier of the jute bags,” zoo director Abhay Kumar told The Telegraph.
Once the zoo is declared a plastic-free zone, people dumping gutkha sachets or any other plastic item inside the zoo would have to pay a penalty of Rs 250. The idea to make Patna zoo a polythene-free zone was conceived in January this year. It was decided that bags made of recycleable paper would be made available to visitors at the zoo gates.
Later, the authorities felt cloth bags would be a better option because of their longer shelf life and people would not hesitate to pay for such bags. The zoo officials had earlier planned to introduce this system from April 1 this year. The zoo authorities blamed the vendors’ slackness for failing to abide by the deadline.
“Plastics, including empty sachets of gutkhas, are lethal to some animals. Plastic sachets being light in weight, fly all around the zoo premises. It is very difficult to collect and dump them in trash bins,” a zoo official said.
At present, around 5,000 people visit Patna zoo on a normal day.