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Tortoises in Nag Shankar temple under threat

By Correspondent

BISWANATH CHARIALI, May 11 -The pond attached to the historical Nag Shankar temple under Nag Shankar mouza in Biswanath district is famous all over the State for its inhabitants. The inhabitants are none other than around 15 species of tortoises. Hundreds of devotees from all around the State throng this temple to offer puja and biscuits to the tortoises in the �Kaso Pukhuri� every day. It is believed that offering biscuits (or food) to the tortoises brings fortune to the devotees. Local people have also great faith and respect for these inhabitants. Only because of this, it is said that the people of surrounding areas never consume the flesh of any tortoise.

But due to the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the concerned authorities, the life of the rare animals is under threat. The population of the tortoises is growing day by day forcing some of them to take up shelter in other ponds of the locality. which the size of the pond has become smaller. Their number is now estimated to be around 2000. The management has not taken up any action plan to develop or enlarge the pond area though it possesses sufficient land. Thus, the historical pond is fast losing its glory.

On the other hand, the dirty condition of the surroundings of the temple has led to much dissatisfaction among the devotees. The surroundings noe resemble a garbage dump. It may be mentioned here that the responsibility of maintenance of the temple lies upon the Archeological Department of the Government of Assam. Local people allege that the management committee has failed to do the needful for the development of the temple and have urged the government to respond in a positive way.

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Tortoises in Nag Shankar temple under threat

BISWANATH CHARIALI, May 11 -The pond attached to the historical Nag Shankar temple under Nag Shankar mouza in Biswanath district is famous all over the State for its inhabitants. The inhabitants are none other than around 15 species of tortoises. Hundreds of devotees from all around the State throng this temple to offer puja and biscuits to the tortoises in the �Kaso Pukhuri� every day. It is believed that offering biscuits (or food) to the tortoises brings fortune to the devotees. Local people have also great faith and respect for these inhabitants. Only because of this, it is said that the people of surrounding areas never consume the flesh of any tortoise.

But due to the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the concerned authorities, the life of the rare animals is under threat. The population of the tortoises is growing day by day forcing some of them to take up shelter in other ponds of the locality. which the size of the pond has become smaller. Their number is now estimated to be around 2000. The management has not taken up any action plan to develop or enlarge the pond area though it possesses sufficient land. Thus, the historical pond is fast losing its glory.

On the other hand, the dirty condition of the surroundings of the temple has led to much dissatisfaction among the devotees. The surroundings noe resemble a garbage dump. It may be mentioned here that the responsibility of maintenance of the temple lies upon the Archeological Department of the Government of Assam. Local people allege that the management committee has failed to do the needful for the development of the temple and have urged the government to respond in a positive way.