No penguins at Byculla Zoo till August

The BMC’s plan of bringing six Humboldt penguins in December 2014 is delayed; work on special enclosures to house the creatures is incomplete

In yet another case of delay, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plan of getting six Humboldt penguins worth R2.4 crore to the Byculla zoo in December 2014 will have to wait. The reason? Civic officials have not even floated tenders to invite contractors to oversee the construction of the enclosures yet as the tenders to appoint a contractor lay pending. Moreover, if sources in the BMC are to be believed, the penguins will not arrive in the city anytime before August this year.

Three-year-old plan
The plan to bring the penguins to the city was announced three years ago and the municipal body passed the proposal in August 2014 along with a five-year maintenance contract worth R19 crore.

To enable the penguins survive in Mumbai’s hot and humid climate, the BMC planned to build special enclosures. While the building in which the enclosures will be housed is ready, its interiors are not equipped with necessities such as water connection, and temperature control.

Enclosure work incomplete
A BMC official, on condition of anonymity, said, “No work has begun on building the interiors of the enclosures yet, so the penguins will not be in Mumbai till August this year.”

Director of the zoo, Anil Anjankar, said, “The infrastructure is ready but we are yet to appoint a contractor to finish work on the life support system for the penguins, temperature control and water facilities. Once that is completed, we will get the penguins.”

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