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regular-article-logo Monday, 24 June 2024

Snakes spotted regularly by New Town residents following the rain over past few days

In July last year, two men in their 20s had died from snakebites in a span of two weeks in New Town

Snehal Sengupta New Town Published 24.05.24, 04:49 AM
The area near Uniworld City in New Town where foresters said they rescued snakes in the past few days

The area near Uniworld City in New Town where foresters said they rescued snakes in the past few days Picture by Pradip Sanyal

Snakes are being spotted regularly by New Town residents following the rain over the past few days.

An official in the forest department’s Wildlife Rescue and Transit Facility in Baisakhi, Salt Lake, said they have been rescuing two to three snakes daily since the recent spells of rain.

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Range officer Manoj Josh, who is in charge of the facility, said they are getting calls from residents of New Town as well as Rajarhat asking for help to catch and rescue snakes.

“We are rescuing at least two to three snakes from New Town and Rajarhat daily. Most are being rescued from inside buildings and housing complexes,” said Josh.

In July last year, two men in their 20s had died from snakebites in a span of two weeks in New Town.

A 23-year-old man, who was preparing to write an entrance examination, had died after being bitten by a poisonous snake in front of the Downtown Mall, near Uniworld City.

A couple of weeks later, a 27-year-old man who had gone for a dip in a pond in Akandakishori, near Techno City police station, suffered a fatal snakebite.

According to Josh, foresters are regularly rescuing snakes from the Sukhobrishti housing complex in Action Area III as well as areas surrounding it. Residents of another housing complex in the area, Elita Garden Vista, said snakes are being regularly spotted in their compound.

The residents of Elita Garden Vista have hired a snake catcher, who stays in the complex round-the-clock.

Ayananta Choudhury, the treasurer of the cultural association of the complex, said snakes are regularly spotted in their complex.

“We have made arrangements for a snake catcher to be in the complex at all times. This has been done to ensure the safety of residents as well our support staff. Some of the snakes spotted in our complex are venomous,” Choudhury said.

Elita Garden Vista has stored vials of anti-snake venom serums, which need to be injected into snakebite victims. Arunangshu Chakraborty, a resident of the complex and a consultant in anaesthesia and critical care at Tata Medical Center, had taken the initiative and procured the vials.

“A snakebite victim should be treated in the first hour after the bite. We have procured the vials so any resident suffering a snakebite can be treated at the earliest," Chakraborty said.

All urban primary health centres run by the New Town Kolkata Development Authority are also equipped with anti-venom medicines, said an official.

Venomous snakes such as Common Krait and Russell’s Viper have been spotted in the complex.

A forest department official said they have also rescued snakes from the median dividers in front of the Uniworld City and Rosedale Garden housing complexes in the past few days.

Ranjan Basu, the president of the residents’ welfare association at Rosedale Garden, said the guards at the complex have been trained in catching snakes.

“Snakes are often seen in these areas, especially after rain. We have taken adequate measures. The grass and hedges in our complex are regularly trimmed. Our guards have been trained in catching snakes and the contact numbers of the forest department’s wildlife rescue centre have been forwarded to the residents,” Basu said.

A senior forest department official said New Town and Rajarhat have traditionally been home to a variety of snakes. Four poisonous species are commonly seen there: Monocled Cobra, Russell’s Viper, Common Krait and Banded Krait.

These areas were earlier open tracts of land interspersed with water bodies.

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