Oh deer! Park no more - DVC to shift 53 animals to Koderma, Hazaribagh

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By SHASHANK SHEKHAR
  • Published 27.07.10
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Bokaro, July 26: Condemned to move out early this year, Chandrapura’s famed deer park is only now coming to terms with reality.

Adjacent to Chandrapura Thermal Power Station (CTPS), 32 km from Bokaro, the DVC-run park has been asked to shut shop and shift its 53 deer, including spotted ones, to sanctuaries in Koderma and Hazaribagh by the end of the monsoon.

A favourite haunt of children in Chandrapura, the park spread over five acre, was set up in 1990 with two deer couples. Over the years, it grew to house 53 deer, but the Central Zoo Authority ruled that its infrastructure was inadequate to handle such a large number of animals.

Early this year, CZA de-recognised the tourist attraction. It wanted the DVC to increase the area of the park. But, the last straw, apparently, was the DVC’s reluctance to appoint a full-time vet, something that the CZA was insisting upon.

“Now the deer are counting their days,” said a crestfallen Nirmal Kumar Rajak, the park’s caretaker. “I have given 20 years of my precious time and cared for these creatures like children. If the DVC management had the will, the park could have been developed into a beautiful place.”

DVC has now promised Rs 27 lakh to the forest authorities for transferring the animals to the two sanctuaries where special arrangements are being made. Enclosures in an area of 20 acre are being built with proper drinking water facilities for the animals.

Besides, an open air grazing ground is also being laid out. But most important, the forest department has decided to make arrangements for food for the animals for a year by which time the deer were expected to get acclimatised to their new environment.

According to divisional forest officer A.K Mishra, “Since Hazaribagh sanctuary already has a large number of deer, most of the animals from Chandrapura deer park would have to be accommodated at Koderma. Later, some may be shifted to Hazaribagh.”

Sixty-eight-year-old local resident A.K. Sah, who retired from the Chandrapura Thermal Power Station, lamented the shifting of the deer park.

“Life in an industrial town can get very boring. Whenever I felt depressed, I would go for a stroll at the park. I remember standing on the platform, a favourite spot for young and old, to get the best view of the straying deer.”