In Kerala’s Kasaragod, work at a solar power plant, which is currently under construction, was halted for 10 days after the Forest Department found 36 unhatched Indian Rock Python eggs at the site in Paivalike. The construction of the solar plant is estimated to cost Rs 200 crore.
The construction of the solar power plant is being undertaken by Tata Power Solar, the company which had bagged the contract. The project is estimated to produce 50MW electricity and the construction began in February this year.
In late May, a group of workers who were manning the bulldozer, meant for levelling the soil, noticed a python which was nesting several eggs beneath it. The workers immediately contacted the Forest Department and asked them to remove the python from the construction site.
"Their request was to remove the python and the eggs. I sent some officials to the site and they repeated their demand. Then I went to the spot and asked them to temporarily stop the work as we had to wait for the eggs to hatch,” Anil Kumar, Kasaragod Range Forest Officer told TNM.
Anil Kumar stated that the workers were initially hesitant to allow the python to dwell on site as they would have had to stop the construction activities. However, Forest Department officials urged them to stop the construction activities. “We were able to convince them. It took almost 10 days for eggs to hatch. On World Environment Day, June 5, we released them to the forest close to their habitat," he added.
He said that since the eggs were maintained at its habitat, all of them were hatched. "Usually many of the eggs would get ruined. If we change their habitat they may not survive. But this time all the eggs hatched," he said.
The mother python had left a few days after it was spotted. "It may be a construction site but for the snake and the eggs, it was their habitat. Construction work was being carried out in surrounding areas. Maybe that is why the snake was not found there anymore," the officer said.
After the python and the eggs were found, the construction company fully cooperated with the conservation, Anil Kumar said.