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Sikkim’s capital Gangtok emerging as the Northeast’s Cleanest City

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Gangtok. Wikimedia

Agartala/Gangtok May 5, 2017: Nine cities from eight northeastern states have found the place in Swachh Survekshan-2017, with Sikkim’s capital Gangtok emerging as the region’s cleanest city.

The report of the evaluation, conducted in 434 cities and towns across the country, was released by Union Urban Development Minister M. Venakaiah Naidu in New Delhi on Thursday. Gangtok ranked 50 with a score of 1,414.

Mizoram capital Aizawl and Manipur capital Imphal ranked 105 and 122, respectively, followed by Assam’s main city of Guwahati at 134, Nagaland capital Kohima (208), Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar (216), Meghalaya capital Shillong (276), Assam’s commercial city Silchar (280) and Tripura capital Agartala (290).

An official of Tripura’s Urban Development Department said that cities were evaluated on five parameters — waste collection, solid-waste management, construction of toilets, sanitation strategies and behaviour change communication.

“The rankings are based on the data provided by municipal bodies, independent assessors and feedback from people,” the official added.

Northeast India’s largest city Guwahati which was ranked 50 in 2016, is ranked 134 this time and is the fourth cleanest city in the region after Gangtok, Aizawl and Imphal.

In 2016, Agartala was ranked 33rd, Shillong 53rd and Itanagar 71st while Kohima was not listed in 2016.

Agartala Municipal Corporation Mayor Prafulla Jit Sinha said: “We did not accept various schemes under the Swachh Bharat Mission that’s why our position was lowered this time.” (IANS)

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Ever Thought of Adopting An Animal? Tripura Zoo Gives You The Opportunity

According to the official, the name of the individual or the institution that adopts an animal is also to be displayed at the enclosure of such animals.

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With greater publicity, the adoption scheme must be popularised as most people do not know about the noble plan. Pixabay

Ever dreamt of adopting a lion, a crocodile or a Himalayan black bear or any wild animal?

If yes, here’s your opportunity to do so in Tripura – except that you cannot take the animal home.

According to a senior Tripura wildlife official, any institution or individual can adopt an animal by annually paying between Rs 5,020 and Rs 2,81,000 for its upkeep at the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary and Zoo, located in western Tripura’s Sepahijala District.

The scheme encourages people to participate in the conservation of wildlife, especially endangered species.

Tripura’s Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden Dvijendra Kumar Sharma said: “To those who adopt an animal, the sanctuary authorities issue certificates of adoption and publish their names in leading newspapers and provide complimentary passes to visit the zoo, besides other privileges.

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The scheme encourages people to participate in the conservation of wildlife, especially endangered species. Pixabay

“Adoption of an animal is noble not only for individuals but for his family too. An adoption makes a great gift for birthdays, anniversaries and are always unique,” Sharma told IANS.

Animals listed for adoption are lion, crocodile, clouded leopard, Himalayan black bear, binturong, hornbill, peacock, common leopard, hoolock gibbon, slow loris, pig-tailed macaque, pelican, capped langur, spectacled langur, leopard cat and even a vulture.

According to the official, the name of the individual or the institution that adopts an animal is also to be displayed at the enclosure of such animals.

Sharma, a popular author on biodiversity and forests, said that so far state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and three other individuals have adopted a Royal Bengal Tiger, a python, a peacock and a clouded leopard.

An official of the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary and Zoo said that two Royal Bengal Tigers (one male and one female) recently died of disease and talks were on with the Central Zoo to bring two more Royal Bengal Tigers from other zoos in the country.

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According to the official, the name of the individual or the institution that adopts an animal is also to be displayed at the enclosure of such animals. Pixabay

“We are trying to replicate the model of people’s participation in wildlife management followed in the Central Zoo and other zoos in the country, especially in southern states,” said Sharma, a senior Indian Forest Service officer.

“I always loved animals and the environment. That’s why I adopted a clouded leopard. The caretaker of the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary and Zoo Madhab Chandra Deb inspired me to adopt an animal,” Axis Bank Ltd Senior Vice President Karan Butalia told IANS on the phone from Delhi.

Former Tripura Minister Jawahar Saha’s engineer daughter Mahashweta Saha and an associate professor (Zoology) of state-run Ramthakur College Sharmistha Banerjee adopted a python and a peacock (peafowl) respectively.

“With greater publicity, the adoption scheme must be popularised as most people do not know about the noble plan,” Banerjee told IANS.

Also Read: The Unconventional Way of Learning: Textbooks Come Alive in Gujarat’s Schools

The Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary and Zoo (25 km south of Agartala), set up in 1972 within a sanctuary and home to 655 animals belonging to 55 different species, is the first zoo in eastern and northeastern India where adoption of animals had started a few years ago.

Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary and Zoo’s Head Keeper Madhab Chandra Deb told IANS: “My love for animals since childhood attracted the top forest officials and they gave me a government job. I request all people including tourists and visitors to extend their love and support to the animals and also adopt them.” (IANS)