Monday, October 31, 2016

Posted at: Oct 7, 2016, 1:42 AM; last updated: Oct 7, 2016, 1:42 AM (IST) Work nearing completion at Mattewara Nature Reserve

Posted at: Oct 7, 2016, 1:42 AM; last updated: Oct 7, 2016, 1:42 AM (IST)n Butterfly, botanical gardens, lion safari, elephant camp and interpretation centre to be added attractions

Butterflies have started visiting the butterfly garden.
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, October 6
The Forest Department is developing the Mattewara forest area into a nature reserve on around 2,000 acre forest land. Mattewara forest and the adjoining Jaspal Khadam area forest have been walled and this would be named as Mattewara Nature Reserve where a butterfly garden, a botanical garden, a lion safari as well as an elephant camp and ride in addition to an ‘interpretation’ area will be developed. While the work at butterfly garden is almost complete and botanical garden is expected to be completed in a month DFO Vishal Chauhan said they have sought permission from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to get animals from Gujarat. “We have already submitted a detailed project report to CZA, which had raised some objection, which have been resolved from our end. We are expecting an approval soon. Once it is done, we’ll start construction of the wall around the area where the lion safari will be developed,” he said. Meanwhile, three ponds have been created in the forest to provide water to animals and birds in the forest. “Earlier, animals used to go to the river for drinking water, but since the wall has been created for the forest reserve, ponds had to be created within the complex to provide water to animals within the reserve,” an official said. According to the officials, the work on the widening of the road leading to Nawanshehar from the district is on, which would see a rise in traffic from the road, where Mattewara Nature Reserve is coming up. “It will be near for Ludhiana residents and a ‘’showpiece of forests of Punjab’’ for people of Central Punjab to get close to nature and know more about it,” Chauhan said. Botanical garden to have 300 species of rare trees, plants  A botanical garden, adjoining the butterfly garden, is also being developed, where around 300 species of trees and plants, which are not common in the region, will be planted. These plants would also be brought from other areas, including Dehradun. "Landscaping is already being done in which three mounds have been created along with a small ''lake'' in the middle. A small ''island'' is also being made here. Apart from these, there will be areas in which different  species of plants including medicinal plants, palms, etc. would be planted," Nageen Kumar, forest guard at the reserve said. Plant varieties growing in water would be planted in the gardens. 20 varieties of shrubs, flowers to attract butterflies at the Butterfly garden  A butterfly garden is being developed, where around 20 varieties of shrubs and flowers, which attract butterflies, have been planted. These plants include both host varieties of plants on which butterflies lay eggs and nectar varieties of plants and shrubs from which butterflies draw nectar. These were planted around a month ago and butterflies have started coming to the garden already! "A small shed will also be created to provide shelter to butterflies in case it rains. The shrubs and plants have been brought from Dehradun," Pritpal Singh, block officer at the forest said. "As butterflies like natural environment, least amount of cement and unnatural objects will be used," he said. 7-8 lions to be brought from gir forest As a major attraction for tourists, a lion safari will also be planned on around 50 hectare land. Around 7-8 lions will be brought to the reserve from Gir Forest National Park and a wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat.  In addition to fencing of the area, sheds will be created for lions. There will be arrangement for visitors to see the area in a caged vehicle. 
Elephant ride
Another attraction at the park is an elephant camp. Elephant sheds have already been made in the area. Around three to four elephants will be brought to the reserve. There will also be an arrangement for having a ride atop an elephant.  Get all info at interpretation Centre For welcoming visitors to the complex, an interpretation centre will also be set up which will have information about the reserve and the forest in general. It will house a museum and a library regarding forests and wildlife. The centre will be made by the Public Works Department.

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