BENGALURU: Seventy-five people died due to snakebites in city the last two months while the hapless, unpaid snake rescuers continue their rescue missions. BBMP has not released the honorarium of Rs 9000/month to snake rescuers for the last three years.
In the city, June, July and August are the months when new born snakes emerges from its eggs. In each of the 5 zones, 35-40 snakes are rescued every day. In the last 3 years, calls for rescue has gone up three times. Many people mostly the poor and slum dwellers – are losing their lives to snake bites. They are bitten while trying to lift baby venomous snakes in their hands from their dwellings.
Prasanna Kumar, honorary wildlife warden, Bengaluru (Rural) district, says, “There is an urgent need to educate the public as half of them die due to fear when they come in contact with snakes. Presently, we are holding campaigns in residential colonies, apartment complexes, etc once a week.”
He adds, “From a mere 10 calls per days, it has now increased to 30 per day. We regularly get calls from Nagarbhavi, J P Nagar 7th phase, Vidyaranyapura, RR Nagar, Girinagar, Vasantpura, Sampangiram Nagar behind Lal Bagh.”
“Even today, people go for native treatment for snake bites instead of going to hospitals,” says snake rescuer Mohan. He adds, “Today I rescued a cobra almost 6 feet long in OMBR Layout, but I have not been paid since 2015-16”.
BBMP has 33 snake rescuers and only 9 were getting an honorarium and that too has stopped. The state budget allocates Rs 25 lakh for animal welfare but this is not being utilized for snake rescue as BBMP claims it is not meant for wildlife.
BBMP officials say there was a dispute about payments – a technical issue, so no payments have been made. DCF (BBMP) was not available for comments.
Nagarbhavi: Unique case
In this area, on one street alone, 35 snakes have been rescued in the last 10 days. “The whole place is concretised and drains closed. The snakes have no place to go,” said Prasanna Kumar.
Contact Victoria, Bowring, Baptist, M S Ramaiah, Manipal, Vyedehi, St Johns and other super speciality hospitals. Anti-venom injections can be procured from generic shops in government hospitals.
Looking for snake rescuers?
Contact BBMP snake rescue no: 080-22221188,
Mohan: 9845080903, Prasanna Kumar: 9902794711