Mumbai: Rs 1.34-crore green cover to make tigers Karishma, Shakti 'feel at home' in Byculla Zoo

Updated: Feb 25, 2020, 07:44 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Mumbai has got tigers at the zoo after a gap of 14 years and the civic body is going all out for the new members.

Shakti at Byculla zoo
Shakti at Byculla zoo

The recent entrants to Byculla zoo, tigers Karishma and Shakti, are already star attractions, and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is now going to spend Rs 1.33 crore on green cover in and around their cage to help them feel at home. The cover will include native trees like neem, cotton silk, bamboo and grass and will be spread over 3,500 square metres.

The revamping of Byculla zoo has always been a contentious matter owing to the huge expenditure. The BMC has already spent Rs 56 crore on enclosures for tigers, lions, swamp deer, neelgai, barking deer and sambar. The proposal was passed in March 2017, but the process has been continuously delayed. The latest addition to the proposal is the green cover around the tiger cage.

Karishma at Byculla zooKarishma at Byculla zoo

Mumbai has got tigers at the zoo after a gap of 14 years and the civic body is going all out for the new members. The natural habitat for the tigers will include a cave and waterfall, too. While the work on the cage, cave and waterfall is going on, the administration has submitted a separate proposal for the green cover. "There will be plants like bamboo, which is a favourite of tigers," said Dr Sanjay Tripathi, superintendent of the zoo. The cost of the green cover is Rs 1.33 crore, of which Rs 87.31 lakh is for the greenery and Rs 20.51 lakh is for maintenance for 13 months. The rest is various taxes.

As per the proposal, the administration recommended M/s D B Infratech for the work. Dr Tripathi told mid-day, "The plantation inside the cage could be destroyed due to the habitation of animals and will be required to be planted again and again. So, the rate mentioned by the contractor is viable. The rates are as per the schedule of the plantation." He added that while the landscape was included in the earlier contract, it is only for a part of it and maintenance wasn't included.

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