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India’s 1st Dolphin Research Centre Inaugurated In Patna

India’s first National Dolphin Research Center (NDRC) was officially inaugurated by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. This landmark facility, built at a cost of Rs 30 crore, is situated on the banks of the Ganges River within the Patna University campus.

Focus on Gangetic Dolphin Conservation:

The NDRC’s primary objective is to aid researchers and students in understanding the behavior and ecology of freshwater dolphins, particularly the endangered Gangetic dolphin. These fascinating creatures inhabit the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of South Asia and were first documented in 1801.

Protecting a National Treasure:

Hunting of Gangetic dolphins is strictly prohibited under Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. According to a 2018 survey by the Bihar government, an estimated 1,048 dolphins reside in the Ganges River, highlighting the importance of conservation efforts.

Overcoming Delays for a Crucial Project:

Originally intended for a December 2023 inauguration, the NDRC faced delays due to construction complications. The foundation stone for the center was laid in 2020 by Chief Minister Kumar, and the project itself received approval in 2013 upon the request of Professor R.K. Sinha, a renowned dolphin researcher. However, obtaining the necessary permits for construction near the Ganges River presented challenges, causing the postponement.

Broader Environmental Impact:

The NDRC is expected to offer significant benefits beyond studying dolphins. Vivek Suhani, an environmental science alumnus from Patna University, believes the center will be invaluable for students interested in environmental research. He emphasizes that the NDRC “will also help in understanding the ecosystem of the river and aquatic ecology.”

A Step Forward in Conservation:

The inauguration of the NDRC marks a significant step towards furthering our understanding and protecting the Gangetic dolphin. This crucial research center has the potential to not only safeguard this endangered species but also contribute to a deeper comprehension of the Ganges River ecosystem as a whole.


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