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Waste threat to dolphins

- Govt plans to develop centres to watch mammal in natural habitat

Insecticide DDT has been found in small volumes in Gangetic dolphins in the state, revealed zoologist R.K. Sinha on Friday.

Addressing a workshop at Rabindra Bhavan on the first Dolphin Day celebrated in Bihar, “Dolphin Man” Sinha said: “While the people worship the Ganga, they also pollute it. All kinds of waste are dumped into the river, making it unfit for the Gangetic dolphins.”

Of the 2,500 Gangetic dolphins in the country, around 1,300-1,400 are found in Bihar, said Sinha, stressing for steps to protect the mammal for posterity.

Environment and forests department organised the workshop to celebrate Dolphin Day. Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi inaugurated it.

Modi said people in Patna are not aware of the importance of the mammal, declared the national aquatic animal by the Union government. “The state government has made a one-year action plan to tackle rampant poaching of the animal. We will organise different kinds of awareness programmes.”

He shared the government’s plans to create a set-up to promote dolphin tourism on the lines of Canada, where the sector is promoted through dolphins and whales. “We are contemplating to start dolphin watching centres on the lines of those in Canada. People would be able to watch dolphins in their natural habitat once a week by paying nominal money. We also plan to develop the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary,” he added.