HYDERABAD: A day after the death of a two-year-old boy at Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad, after a battery-powered vehicle ran over a toddler, the State government ordered for a high level inquiry to be conducted into the incident on Wednesday.
PCCF (Production), M Pruthvi Raju has been directed to conduct the inquiry and submit the report within five days. A preliminary report in the matter was also submitted to the government on Wednesday. However, concrete action and sound planning is required by the zoo to prevent any more such accidents from happening in the future.
While the zoo receives about 5,000-10,000 visitors on weekdays, on public holidays the number of visitors swells up to 20,000 or even above. On Tuesday when the incident occurred, the zoo received around 27,000 visitors as it was a public holiday on the occasion of Christmas.
As there is a single way for the battery operated vehicles to drive on as well as for people to walk about in the zoo, the hazard of an accident occurring increases with rise in number of visitors, especially keeping in mind that a large chunk of zoo visitors are usually children.
When contacted, Assistant Conservator of Forests at the zoo, Syed Maqsood Mohiuddin said, “Everyday 700 zoo staff along with 22 security guards in each shift, work at the zoo. We conduct briefings for the staff and instruct them on various measures to be taken for avoiding untoward incidents. We will start regular announcement service to keep telling people to stay away from the path of the vehicles and to make them aware of an incoming vehicle.”
He added, “Visitors who come along with children to the zoo should also act responsibly. Children sometimes get excited after looking at the animals and run about. The parents should ensure that children are not let alone on their own.”