Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Exotic animals on way: Plan for Byculla zoo revamp sealed.

Linah Baliga, TNN Jan 8, 2013, 12.28AM ISTMUMBAI: The civic body's plan to revamp the Jijamata Udyan at Byculla will finally take shape as the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA) recently approved the BMC's amended final master layout plan for the purpose. Animal lovers can look forward to exotic species such as the jaguar, zebra, Humboldt penguin, exotic marine fishes, tiger, Asiatic lion, wild dog, bison and deer at the new-improved zoo. Work on the revamp will start in September 2013 and is slated to be tied up by March 2015.
"The final layout plan for the Byculla zoo was approved on December 5 at a technical committee meeting. Now we will prepare a detailed design for animal enclosures, which will be submitted to the CZA for approval. We will then initiate the tender process. Work will start after September 2013 and the deadline for completion is March 2015," said Anil Anjankar, director at the Byculla zoo.
The BMC has worked on a theme-'Living Together'- for the zoo. "Just as animals coexist in natural forests, they will do so here. Interdependence among different species of mammals, birds and reptiles will be highlighted in this zoo," said Anjankar.
If the civic body is to be believed, no animal will be neglected in the refurbished zoo. "Environmental enrichment inside enclosures will keep the animals busy and active, and also fulfil their biological, physiological, behavioural and other needs. Props made from wood and other natural material will be designed to keep animals active. No new moats will be constructed around the enclosures. In general, acrylic glass panels will be used," said Anjankar.
Public amenities such as car parking, resting places, drinking water fountains, toilets and rain shelters will be provided too.
The project cost has been pegged at Rs 150 crore. This will include ongoing project works such as construction of an interpretation centre (where children will be able to participate in educational activities for wildlife conservation), a zoo hospital, an entrance plaza, heritage restoration and a boundary wall. All the existing trees will be conserved and protected. A total of 24 enclosures will be constructed for animals and birds.
Animals that are not included in the approved animal collection plan such as the Himalayan black bear, rhesus and bonnet monkeys, Indian one-horned rhinoceros and elephants will be shifted to other zoos or released in the wild in consultation with Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi. Or else, they may be housed in the zoo premises in the proposed quarantine area.
Exotic animals will be exhibited in the seven-acre Mafatlal Mill area that adjoins the eastern side of the zoo.

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