Varanasi || 1000 Turtles To Be Realesed In Ganges For Cleaner River – All You Need To Know

In its bid to clean and rejuvenate the Ganges River, hundreds of turtles will be released into the river in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh over the next two months.

Under the joint aegis of the Namami Gange Programme, the Forest and Wildlife Department and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), 1000 turtles hatched at India’s first breeding and rehabilitation centres for turtles situated in Varanasi – will be released with an aim at the strengthening the cleanliness of the Ganges.

Ganga Action Plan:

Under the Ganga Action Plan (set up in 1980s), the Centre has so far released over 40,000 turtles – roughly 28,000 turtles were released in the first phase of the GAP. Since 2017, the WII and the Forest Department have renewed their efforts to release hatched turtles.

Nurturing of turtles:

As reported by The Hindu, the Forest and Wildlife Department’s team bring turtle eggs from the coastal areas of the Chambal region.

The eggs are monitored for 70 days in a room that is fully prepared for hatching. After filling the ground with water and placing bricks atop, the eggs are buried inside sands in wooden boxes.

Only 30 eggs are buried inside sand in wooden boxes. The temperature from 27 o 30 degrees Celsius is maintained between June and July at which turtles are monitored in an artificial pond for two years before they are released in the river.

Turtles improving the quality of water:

Rajesh Shukla, Convenor of the Namami Ganga Programme in the Kashi region told The Hindu that the quality of water has improved and turtles have a role as they feed on meat and waste products thrown in the river.

In UP Government’s assessment, pH level of the water at different locations in the State, including in Varanasi met the water quality criteria for bathing.

Mr. Shukla told the daily publication that it will take around 10-15 years to evaluate whether these species are playing major role or not.

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