BAHAWALPUR
Because of the scorching hot weather, 18-hour power loadshedding and non-availability of canal water, the lives of precious animals and birds at Bahawalpur Zoo are at stake .The zoo was established in 1942 by Nawab Sir Sadiq Khan Abbasi V on 25 acres of land. This zoo has been the third biggest zoo of Pakistan since its establishment. A total of 135 different kinds of animals and 585 types of birds are available in the zoo. Overcharging of the tickets by the contractor is a big issue of the Zoo. The contractor charge Rs20 to Rs25 per head while the original rate is Rs6 for adult and Rs4 for minors.Some years back, this zoo was the biggest breed centre of lions in Pakistan and now the situation is that after a long period only three lions were born in the month of May. There is a severe shortage of water for animals at the zoo. Ponds built for birds and animals to keep them cool in the scorching heat are mostly dry. Canal water which was allocated for the zoo has also been stopped aggravating the situation further.When contacted, Curator of the zoo Nadeem Qureshi said that he had met with Bahawalpur Commissioner and discussed with him the issues. He said that canal water for 72 hours in a week was allocated for the zoo but due to breakage of the water courses and construction of houses on water courses, canal water was not being provided for the zoo. However, he added, the matter had been resolved in favour of the zoo and soon water supply would restart. About the overcharging, the curator said a report in this regard had been sent to the director general to black list the contractor and for the forfeiture of his security but the DG’s post is lying vacant. On the other side, the ticket collectors denied the overcharging.