SGNP gets its first green light for Aarey Colony zoo

After the field visit in Goregaon (East), Central Zoo Authority officials have given their approval to Sanjay Gandhi National Park to commence their plan to build an ‘international zoo’

Taking the first step towards building a zoo at Aarey Milk Colony, two officials from Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and two from Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) visited the area near Royal Palms in Goregaon (East) and gave their approval for an ‘international zoo’.

Unlike Byculla zoo, the one in Aarey Milk Colony is expected be more lively and efforts will be made to maintain the flora and fauna of the area. File pic
Unlike Byculla zoo, the one in Aarey Milk Colony is expected be more lively and efforts will be made to maintain the flora and fauna of the area. File pic

During the meeting that was held before the visit at around 10 am, officials from CZA wildlife curator, AK Malhotra and officer from Wildlife Institute of India, PC Tyagi discussed various aspects for creating the facility at the area in Aarey Milk Colony.

Factors like the specific area required by every animal (for instance, a pair of tigers require a minimum display area of 1,000 square metres), availability of total land, area required for arrangements of public display of animals, restaurants, basic amenities, and a veterinary hospital, as well as facilities like power, sewage and solid waste management facilities were looked into.

“The CZA officials have to ensure that the zoo has maximum facilities while incurring minimum expense to avoid financial loss. One of the most important factors is that, unlike Byculla zoo, the one in Aarey Milk Colony will be more lively and we will try to maintain the flora and fauna of the area,” said a forest department official.

“Various factors are considered before giving the go-ahead to the land. It is only when we find that it is conducive to the flora and fauna of the area that we allow authorities to proceed with their plan to create
a zoo,” AK Malhotra told mid-day.

The next step
Vikas Gupta, Chief Conservator of Forest at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, said, “As of now, the land has been approved to be developed, but the master plan is yet to be prepared. Once the CZA approves that, only then the construction work will commence. We will now prepare a layout that will be presented to the CZA officials. It is expected to take another three months before they announce their final decision.”

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