Monday, January 20, 2014

Uttar Pradesh govt may inaugurate Lion Safari before Lok Sabha elections.

Faiz Rahman Siddiqui, TNN Jan 18, 2014, 12.15AM IST
KANPUR: The Lok Sabha elections are approaching and the state government may announce the inauguration of the Lion Safari in Etawah soon. Four pairs of Asiatic Lions kept at Lucknow and Kanpur zoos may be shifted there by the first week of February. The construction work is going on in Fisher Reserve Forest area these days.
Sources said that officials have been given a deadline of January 31 for completion of work, particularly at the breeding centre and veterinary hospital of the safari.
The state machinery comprising ministers and senior bureaucrats have been asked to extensively tour the safari and speed up the work related to the project.
The chief minister had made a surprise inspection of the construction work at Lion Safari on January 4. Prior to that, state environment and zoo minister Shiv Pratap Yadav had made a visit to Fisher Forest area to take note of the ongoing construction work.
The work, which was initiated in 2005 by the Samajwadi Party government, was stopped immediately after Bahujan Samaj Party came to power. It was again revived after Samajwadi Party formed a government in March 2012.
On Thursday, principal secretary PWD Rajnish Dubey and other district officials, including DM P Guru Prasad inspected the Fisher Reserve Forest area.
To facilitate the locals as well tourists from other parts of the country, three approach roads, which connect Lion Safari from National Highways including Agra-Mainpuri, Gwalior-Etawah and Kanpur-Etawah, would be widened and designed on international parameters. "To facilitate the tourists, the paving and widening of the approach roads would be done, keeping in mind the international tourists," a senior PWD official said.
These roads connect the Lion Safari to the bordering states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, besides tourists from across northern parts of the state.All the big and small bridges dotting the stretch and heading towards the Lion Safari would be renovated. "We have asked Uttar Pradesh Bridge Corporation to submit a status report of all big and small bridges including the Chambal bridge, which is nearly 50 years old, so that renovation work could be carried out," added a senior official.
The work on the construction of the breeding centre and veterinary hospital at the safari is in final stages. "January 25 has been set as a deadline for the completion of work at both the breeding centre and veterinary hospital. Work on electricity arrangements had almost been completed at the breeding centre and veterinary hospital. At present, work on laying down of water pipelines is underway," senior warden Lion Safari, Gurmeet Singh, said.Recently, Lucknow Zoo had received two pairs of Asiatic Lions from the Sakkarbag Zoo in Gujarat for the upcoming Lion Safari in Etawah.
"There are now three pairs of Asiatic lions at Lucknow Zoo and one pair at Kanpur Zoo. The first two pair of Asiatic lions have been procured from Hyderabad and Rajkot zoos," said Singh.
Total numbers of Asiatic lions procured so far for Lion Safari project now reaches eight, he added. "By the last week of January or in the first week of February, these royal animals would be shifted to the safari," claimed forest department official.
Development of Lion Safari will help the party in garnering votes and woo the voters ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, a local SP leader said. "We have been asked to identify and prioritize works in and around the Lion Safari so that they are taken up on war-footing before the notification is issued for the 2014 elections," said a Samajwadi Party leader in Etawah.The safari will generate employment avenues and develop the site as a tourist spot. It may boost the region economy, he added.

No comments: