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Dolphins at play, closer home

Ranchi, July 4: Our enthusiasm of seeing dolphins is often limited to the television sets. But, now people can look forward to sighting them diving over the water surface in the state.

If the forest department officials are to be believed, a dolphin sanctuary in the 50-km stretch of the Ganges running through the state in Sahebganj is on the anvil. A proposal chalked out by the department has already been sent to the government for notification.

The proposal comes after chief minister Arjun Munda directed the forest officials to chalk out a plan to this effect last year during a programme organised to celebrate the Wildlife Protection Week.

Principal chief conservator of forest, J. L. Srivastava told The Telegraph, 'We have made a proposal for the sanctuary and send it for notification. Nothing has been finalised yet as the proposal is pending with the government. After it's approved and notification is announced, then only the work can proceed,' said Srivastava.

He further said that a large number of dolphins are found in the particular stretch of Ganges in Jharkhand. 'As of now, many of these mammals get trapped in the fisherman's net who venture out for fishing. If the proposed sanctuary comes up, then the department would also be able to check this menace,' added Srivastava.

If the sanctuary gets a nod from the government, the forest department also proposes to construct some fishponds to stop fishermen from venturing out from the area and thus stop them from netting the mammals.

Apart from that, the department also plans to start many eco-development projects and rehabilitation programmes for the people of the area. Plans to boost tourism are also on the cards.

Although the department does not have any official record of the exact number of dolphins, which are there in the stretch of Ganges in the state, officials pointed out that this would only be ascertained after a proper census is done.

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