The Telegraph
Saturday , October 13 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Weekend boat rides to spot Gangetic dolphins
- Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation to launch service from Gandhi Ghat today

Residents and tourists in the state capital can now go for Gangetic dolphin spotting in the weekends.

Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) will inaugurate a dolphin-spotting package on Saturday. It would include a two-hour boat ride in the Ganga between Gandhi Ghat and Khajekalan Ghat .

“The Gangetic dolphin is a rare mammal found only in the rivers of India and Bangladesh. We are privileged to have a few such dolphins in the Ganga near Patna,” said a senior BSTDC officer.

The three permanent habitats of the Gangetic dolphins around Patna are the confluence of the Ganga and the Gandak, near Gandhi Setu, Kurji Ghat and Fatuha. Sources said around 30 dolphins can be spotted at these three places.

The officer said: “The corporation has come up with this package aimed at spreading awareness among people on dolphins. It would help in the conservation of the endangered species.”

The package would be formally inaugurated tom- orrow (Saturday) in the presence of tourism minister Sunil Kumar.

Those who wish to avail of the package and go on the aquatic adventure would have to call up on 0612-2225411 to book seats.

Fifteen people would be able to go for dolphin spotting on each trip.

They would be provided with life jackets and accompanied by a lifeguard.

The Patna residents aware of the package are thrilled. “I have often heard about Gangetic dolphins but never got a chance to see this animal from close. I am really excited that I finally can avail of an opportunity to see a dolphin,” said Divya Kumari, a resident of Ashiana Nagar.

According to recent studies, the number of dolphins in all the rivers of Bihar is over 1,000. Also, the only dolphin sanctuary in Asia — Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary — is spread over 55km in the Ganga between Sultanganj and Kahalgaon.

According to experts, an adult Gangetic dolphin weighs between 100kg and 500kg and its length varies between 1.5m and 2.5m.

Navin Kumar, a member of Indian Bird Conservation Network, said: “The dolphins have weak vision as there is no lens in their eyes. So, they find food on the basis of sound.”