Located inside the Guindy National Park in Chennai, the lush green campus of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has always been dear to nature enthusiasts and environmentalists.
Along with the thick green cover, the 236-hectares campus boasts of a healthy population of black bucks and spotted deer.
But unfortunately, in the past few years, the institute is facing tough time maintaining the ecological balance because of animal deaths.
An RTI application has revealed that 8 black bucks and 220 deer have died in the past three years.
The shocking figures forced Antony Rubin, a Chennai-based animal rights activist to move the National Green Tribunal (NGT). And now he wants the institute to shift Saarang and Shaastra (IIT-M’s annual fest and tech fest respectively) out of the campus.
Rubin who himself filed the RTI wants IIT-M to not organise the annual fests inside the campus this year. He feels that such large scale events will disturb the serenity and tranquility of the place.
“The festival gets bigger every year. This year, there will be a higher turnout. More people will bring more garbage and obviously more plastic,” Rubin told ScoopWhoop News.
While the RTI didn’t give out the details but the reasons attributed behind the deaths include attacks from dogs, accident and plastic consumption. After postmortem was conducted of the deer which had died, sanitary napkins and condoms were found in their stomachs. Some also got injured due to stepping on glass, reports The News Minute.
And the activist solely blames human negligence for the deaths.
“Why do we keep blaming the dogs? They come to the campus only because of the garbage,” he said. He also added that plastic consumption by animals is the most important concern.
“The campus is close to a national park which means it is a plastic-free zone. Why should plastic be there at all,” he said.
A report by The Fifth Estate, a magazine by the students of IIT-M said that 21 deer died in January 2014. The deaths happened in the same month in which the fests were organised.
Asked why he approached NGT rather than contacting the authorities at IIT-M, he said that it is of no use.
“I didn’t want to be a yet another placard-holding activist in the campus. Many people have done this in the past and nothing happened.” He, however, maintained that he has got a lot of support from students.
“I am not against the festival. I just want the venue to be shifted to be shifted from the campus so that it doesn’t cause any pollution to the environment.”
ScoopWhoop News tried to contact the officials at IIT-Madras but they did not respond.