The food suppliers of the Lahore Zoo have said they will suspend food supply after October 31 if the Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department does not pay their bills.
"We haven't been paid for the last four months," they said. Sources said that the Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department's director general post is vacant for the last four months due to which the department is facing difficulties in getting the bills approved for purchasing of ration for animals and birds. It is the responsibility of the director general to approve the payments, therefore, in his absence, it has become difficult. Last week, the department's deputy director Naeem Bhatti was given a temporary authority to approve salaries of employees, but nobody has been given the acting charge of the director general.
According to the sources, Lahore Zoo has to pay Rs15 million dues and funds are available in the zoo's account but a cheque cannot be issued without the director general's signatures.
In this regard, a meeting headed by secretary forest, wildlife and fisheries were held on Saturday. However, the meeting couldn't decide about the appointment of the director general.
A senior officer of the department told Express News that Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar will approve the name of the director general. Shafqat Butt, a supplier said: "We ensure the provision of ration at the Lahore Zoo no matter if it's raining or there is a storm, but despite that, we haven't been paid for four months. We tried many times to suspend the supply but then we don't want animals to starve. We have to pay to our employees. Therefore, we will stop supplying ration to the Lahore Zoo after October 31 if the administration fails to pay our bills."