Indore : The forest department was so much involved in chasing the target of planting one crore saplings that the higher officials forgot to constitute teams to rescue snakes on Nag Panchmi, claimed a source.
In the past, rescue operations, generally, carried out a night before were carried out on Friday as rescue teams could be constituted late on Thursday night.
However, the department along with several social activists on Friday rescued as many as 664 snakes of different species from the clutches of snake charmers.
Around 8 teams consisting of four members each were formed to rescue charmers.
“Many snake charmers mislead people with myths and collect money using these snakes. To stop this, the department along with social activists moved around the city and seized snakes from them,” said a higher official.
AREAS COVERED IN THE CITY
Teams of forest department covered areas such as Saket, Mahalakhshmi Nagar, Sudama Nagar, Dwarkapuri, Malganj, Kalani Nagar, Aerodrome, Rajwada, Gul Mohar colony, Vijay Nagar and others. The snakes were released into their natural habitat later by the departmental officials.
4 MEMBERS IN EACH TEAM
The higher officials at the forest department said that each team had 4 members; 2 in civil attire and 2 in uniform. Those dressed in civil would walk away from the team and directed rest of the team members to carryout operations in a coordinated manner.
WHY SNAKES ARE RESCUED?
One of the higher officials of the department shared the reason behind the snakes rescue saying that the snakes are protected under Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
Possession or use of any snake for any kind of performance is illegal and a punishable offence.
However, the snake charmers were not punished by the department on this occasion. He added that the snake charmers made the occasion of Nag Panchami as a business.
The official added that some of the charmers released the snakes by themselves as they saw forest department officials approaching.
Around 664 snakes including Cobra, Common Sand Boas, Pythons and others were rescued by the officials on Friday.
The rescue operation lasted for 10hrs after starting at 7.00am and continued till 5.00pm on Friday.