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Smuggling Of Fossilized Dinosaur Eggs

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  • Dinosaur eggs estimated to be worth close to Rs 1 crore each are being sold for as little as Rs 500 in Madhya Pradesh’s fossil-rich Dhar-Mandla belt.

There is a (Archeology Dept) ‘notified site’ for fossilized Dinosaur Eggs dating back to the Cretaceous period of 145 to 66 million years at ‘Padya’ in Dhar District of Madya Pradesh (MP) in India.

It covers some 89 hectares and has been lying unprotected since 2007, making it a fertile hunting ground for egg smugglers.

These are of immense value to paleontologists but it appears this ancient nesting ground for Dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period is neither fenced nor guarded. Sources say that all it takes is some haggling and coaxing from smugglers who mostly come from MaharashtraGujarat and Rajasthan to target gullible tribals still living in the area. Media reporters from JABALPUR/INDORE say that such ancient fossils from India are being sold for as little as Rs 500 in Madhya Pradesh’s fossil-rich Dhar-Mandla belt.

In the international market, say experts, they fetch close to Rs 1 crore (each.) So rampant has the smuggling of the eggs become that a nervous Madhya Pradesh government has set afoot plans to introduce the ‘Fossils Preservation Act’ that might come in handy to prevent the dubious trade.

The draft of the law, says a senior forest official, has already been sent to the law department for whetting. ‘Law needed to prevent fossil smuggling’ Explaining the modus operandi of the illegal trade of dinosaur eggs in MP’s Padlya, MP forest minister Sartaj Singh said, “There is no count of how many dinosaur eggs have been removed.

There really is need for a law as we don’t yet have legal provisions to check this roaring business. And the fact that the government is helpless in curbing these activities has only emboldened this nexus. But with the impending passage of the Act, we can prohibit possession and sale of fossils.” The Act, as of now, envisages a transit pass for “movement of fossil”, which, the minister thinks, will be a deterrent to law-breakers.

It also calls for the wildlife warden to monitor and supervise known sites of dinosaur eggs, all the while keeping the forest department in the loop. Former deputy-DG of the Geological Survey of India, Dr Arun Sonakia, says Gujarat has done a far better job with conservation of dinosaur remains.

“We (Madhya Pradesh) do not have the resources and therefore there has hardly been any effort on the part of the state government to look after these precious bits of history,” he says, adding, “But it’s time we did.

The cost of one such egg in the international market could go up to around Rs 1 crore, and these smugglers are making a killing.”

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Suresh Rao

Mellowed out and enlightened septuagenarian. Tech savvy. Social writing is just a pastime to kill time. I keep contributing to several developmental projects in the area of engineering education, IT and Healthcare projects launched by my kith and kin. I am too lazy to write a book, 'cause I think my life itself is a book! I am also at
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Namita Sunder
2 months ago

This is shocking that such rare gems are being sold for pittance. Is it not possible to put a boundary wall around the area? Why has it been left unprotected? Our treasures has always been plundered or handed over by us only sometimes.

Navneet Bakshi
2 months ago

This is very surprising that such rare archeological gems should be so cheaply available for smuggling out and yet the authorities cry for lack of laws and muscle to deal with the poachers. But I wonder are they in such an abundance?

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