KARACHI - The estimated number of blind Indus Dolphins in Sindh is 922 as provincial government has already taken effective steps to prevent the extinction of blind Indus dolphins. Sindh Minster for Wildlife Daya Ram informed members of the provincial assembly during question/answer session on Wednesday. Opposition MPA of National Peoples Party (NPP), Arif Mustafa Jatoi, had inquired about the number of blind Indus Dolphins remaining in wild as on 31st March 2008 and what steps are being taken to prevent extinction of the above species? Three decades ago, the number of blind Indus dolphins was 150 which had been increased to 922 by March 2008, provincial minister disclosed, claiming that due to efforts taken by the governments, this number of Indus Dolphin increased to this level. He informed that over 900 blind dolphins were present in Indus between Sukkur to Guddu Barrage area while merely 11 Dolphins in Indus at Sukkur to Kortri barrage area while 192 kilometres area of Indus had been declared as "Reserve" since 1974 where dolphins enjoy the status of protected species. Minister pointed out that the estimate of Indus Dolphins was made every year but he could not explain about the process of estimation of dolphin in Indus water. He also claimed that there was no threat to this protected species of Indus dolphins as ban on hunting of this specie was strictly being implemented. To a question by PML-F MPA Syeda Marvi Rashdi about the sale of turtles' flesh at butchers' shops in Kashmore, the minister admitted that some traders from Punjab were involved in trapping fresh water turtles from border of Punjab and Sindh provinces near Guddu. He pointed out that the Wildlife Department of Sindh took action against such offenders who were involved in the illegal netting of turtles. Without explaining the period of this offence in Sindh province, the provincial minister further said that 22 cases had been registered and an amount of Rs0.24 recovered as fine under the provision of law. Due to shortage of staff and resources, the Wildlife Department does not impose other kind of punishment and fines on illegal hunting of species and illegal trapping of fresh water turtles, minister says, adding that in most of the cases the department lodges only cases against the offenders and the cases of ended after the imposition of a minor fine. Minister informed that "Divisional Raid Party" and field staff have bee deputed as the border of Punjab and Sindh provinces near Guddu for checking of illegal trapping of fresh water turtles. Wildlife Minister Daya Ram pointed out that Khirthar National Park was the only park in province which spreads on 1,192 square kilometres area located at district Malir and Jamshoro while 13,000 various animals are living there. A scheme costing Rs500 million had been started in current financial year 2008-09 for the development of wildlife in the province, minister added. Besides, Ayaz Soomro, Sindh Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, informed, while speaking on behalf of the Minster for Forest Department, that a campaign against the encroachers on government land would be started very soon adding the encroachments on forest land would also be removed in near future.