Days after The Indian Express reported the state government’s decision to relocate hundreds of crocodiles from Pond 3 and 4 of the Narmada Dam in Kevadia colony to clear path for the sea plane terminal connecting the Statue of Unity, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) has written to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to immediately discontinue the exercise.
The letter, which cites the report in The Indian Express, highlights the fact that the reptile is an endangered species classified under the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act. The letter also cites a concern raised by experts in the report published by this newspaper that releasing crocodiles into the reservoir will hamper their nesting abilities owing to the slope of the dam.
The letter states, “It will also increase the chances of poaching of the crocodiles, which is already a major challenge in its conservation.” The organisation recommends “a study on reducing the human crocodile conflict instead of relocating the entire population of crocodiles” as well as ensuring that “unregulated tourism does not harm the ecosystem of the area”. The letter also urges the state government to issue guidelines to reduce human-crocodile conflict.
According to the Forest department estimate, nearly 500 crocodiles are present in the pond 3 and 4 of the dam .