Business Standard

Aug records sharp rise in bird rescue calls, mainly due to cases of birds entangling in manja


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi Fire Service attended to over 25 calls each day this month to rescue birds, a majority of which were entangled in glass-coated string used in kite flying, a sport popular in the national capital in August, officials said.
Between August 1 and August 28, the department attended 717 bird rescue calls, they said.
According to Vipin Kental, Director of the Delhi Fire Services (DFS), the maximum number of calls were received from the old Delhi area.
"Kite flying is popular in old Delhi and birds get stuck in manja when they sit on electric wires and trees," Kental said. The strings are locally known as 'manja'.
The kite strings stuck on trees pose a threat to birds which often get entangled in them. Kite flying is a major contributor in the increase in such calls, Atul Garg, DFS' Chief Fire Officer, said.
Kental said they even use their special vehicles -- hydraulic platform tenders that can reach up to a height of 42 metres, for such calls. The cost of one such vehicle is Rs 8 to 9 crore.
"Birds are equally important to us. When the firemen are attending to such calls and they feel that the ladder won't be sufficient to reach the bird, they inform the control room to send a hydraulic platform tender," he said.
In January, the department attended 207 bird rescue calls while in February it attended 184 such calls. The number fell to 97 in March and then rose to 149 in April.
In May, the department attended 126 such calls while in June and July, the department attended 130 and 222 such calls, respectively, according to data shared by the Delhi Fire Services.
Talking about the rescue methods, Garg said it is not a case of 'one size fits all'.
"There is no fixed method to rescue the birds because of the place where they are stuck or the height at which they are stuck are different. The firemen entrusted with the call has to apply their presence of mind while dealing with the situation," he said.
Citing an instance in which a bird was stuck in a kite string and was dangling from a tree, he said one of the firemen arranged for a kite, flew it, cut the string and rescued it.
In another instance, firemen used a long pole to reach the bird to save it, Garg said.
The department is not only involved in saving human lives but also the lives of animals stuck in fires, said another official.
"There was a major blaze in Pitampura in June this year in which 100 people were saved. Later, a woman came crying and told our firemen that her puppy, whom she loved like her son, was stuck in the blaze. The firemen went back and rescued the puppy, much to the delight of that woman," recalled the official.

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First Published: Aug 29 2019 | 5:10 PM IST

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