Mumbai tourism boost: SGNP may soon get a leopard safari

Jul 06, 2015, 12:01 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

SGNP officials to soon appoint consultant to prepare Detailed Project Report for high-quality sustainable eco-tourism concepts, in order to offer unique visitor experience as seen at parks around the world

In order to develop the tourism zone of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) to bring it on par with renowned international parks around the world, authorities will soon be inviting a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the appointment of a consultant to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for high quality sustainable eco-tourism concepts and activities to offer unique visitor experience.

One of the major attractions will be the leopard safari, wherein captive leopards will be released into large enclosures. File picOne of the major attractions will be the leopard safari, wherein captive leopards will be released into large enclosures. File pic

Speaking to mid-day, SGNP Director Vikas Gupta said, “The park is unique, as it is situated within a metropolis. Moreover, we want the tourists visiting SGNP to get that international feel. So, we are going to invite an RFP for the appointment of a consultant, who will prepare a DPR.

The main attractions developed in the tourism zone will include tourist huts, a conference hall, cafeterias, leopard safari and nature interpretation centres.” After taking charge as the state forest minister last year, Sudhir Mungantiwar had asked the SGNP authorities to prepare a plan for revamping the park’s tourism zone, so that it attracts domestic and international tourists alike.

A presentation in this regard was also made to the forest minister a few months ago. “One of the motives behind transforming the tourism zone is to support long-term job creation for the locals and facilitate and augment local tourist circuits,” said Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Sachin Repal.

An official said a mobile application of the SGNP would also be developed, so that people learn about park and its flora and fauna.

The attractions

>> Development would be limited to Krushnagiri Upvan (Borivli), which is the tourism zone of the park. Main attraction will be a state-of-the-art entrance gate. The development plan includes proper roads and drainage system, along with water kiosks, administrative buildings and state-of-the-art conference hall. While nature interpretation centres will be developed at Borivli, Manpada, Yeoor and Sasupada

>> Another attraction will be the mangrove walkway at Sasupada and nature trails at other location of the park. Also, tourists will be treated to canopy walks and machan stays

>> The butterfly park and development of promenade along Dahisar river and a cat orientation centre are part of the upgradation. The authorities also plan to set up a leopard safari, wherein captive leopards will be released in bigger enclosure areas

>> Eco-friendly toilets, adventure sports, distillation of lakes and landscaping will also be done. An environment-friendly transport facility and a taxidermy gallery will also be developed

>> While a few tribals residing in the park will be trained as guides, others will be given priority for jobs created at the facilities that will come up in the tourism area

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