Jambu Zoo to be thrown open to public in March-April this year

Gujarat’s lion, Karnataka’s sloth bear, others to delight visitors

*Central Zoo Authority to conduct inspection shortly

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Feb 2: Jambu Zoo near Nagrota will be thrown open to the public in March-April this year as only finishing touches are pending and Central Zoo Authority has also agreed to conduct inspection shortly for the registration purpose in the light of the mandatory clearance obtained by the Department of Wildlife of the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that work on all the major components of Jambu Zoo funded by Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) has been completed and at present finishing touches are being given which will be completed by end of March as Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has given clear directions for throwing open the zoo to the public in March-April this year.
The blacktopping of internal roads of the zoo and laying of tiles on the pathways will begin within next few days and completed well in time. Likewise, tenders are being floated for outsourcing of tickets, cafeteria, parking lot and kiosks and everything will be in place by the end of next month, sources informed.
Moreover, the Department of Wildlife has already obtained all the mandatory clearances and formally approached the Central Zoo Authority for registration purpose. “Before giving registration the Central Zoo Authority team will conduct inspection of the Jambu Zoo and the same is expected anytime this month”, sources informed.
The registration of Central Zoo Authority is imperative as apart from the primary function of grant of recognition and release of financial assistance, the Central Zoo Authority also regulates the exchange of animals of endangered category listed under Schedule-I and II of the Wildlife Protection Act among the zoos across the country.
According to the sources, all the animals presently kept in the Manda Zoo will be shifted to Jambu Zoo as per the orders of the Central Zoo Authority and the Manda Zoo will be utilized as Rescue Centre. The Department of Wildlife has also approached several zoos in different parts of the country for exchange of animals.
In response to a question, they said that Haryana’s crocodiles, Delhi’s black deer, Karnataka’s sloth bear, Gujarat’s lion, Bengal’s tiger and black buck are among the specifies which will be delighting the visitors at the Jambu Zoo on its opening. “The zoos from these animals will be brought to Jambu Zoo have already been approached formally and soon after the grant of registration by the Central Zoo Authority they will be transported as per the prescribed procedure”, sources added.
“The Zoo will be one of the biggest in north India. It will also have an open amusement theatre and park for children. The zoo will have battery operated vehicles for the visitors to move around. The facility would be a major attraction for tourists coming to the city”, they said, adding “at present the Department of Wildlife is having 10 battery operated cars and 10 more will be purchased very shortly so as to meet the requirement of the visitors”.
“An Expression of Interest is being floated for purchase of 10 more battery operated cars and the outsourced company will provide the cars as well as operate them on the opening of zoo”, sources said.
It is pertinent to mention here that a total of 3200 kanals of land has been acquired for the Jambu Zoo and at present infrastructure has been raised on 1200 kanals and rest of the area has been kept for further expansion.

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