Mumbai: With SC order, BMC can now expand Byculla zoo

Updated: Nov 17, 2018, 08:32 IST | A Correspondent

Apex court upheld the Bombay High Court's order on Mafatlal Industries handing over land to Mumbai civic body

The cost of phase III of the expansion ,that will also get more exotic animals to the zoo, is yet to be estimated. File pic
The cost of phase III of the expansion ,that will also get more exotic animals to the zoo, is yet to be estimated. File pic

The Supreme Court has upheld the Bombay High Court's order on Mafatlal Industries handing over 27,284 square metres land to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), next to the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo (also known as Byculla Zoo). While Mafatlal Industries had approached the apex court against the HC order, the SC has dismissed its plea. With this, the BMC will now implement the expansion of the zoo.

The expansion plan will be phase III of the zoo revamp, as phase I has been completed and phase II is still in progress. According to the primary plans of the BMC, citizens might get to see several exotic animals after the expansion.

Over 63 acres of land
According to the primary report, the zoo will have an African savanna, an Australian zone, a flamingo island, primate island, South American zone and South East Asian zone and will be spread across 10 acres of the plot. While the 27,284 sq mts have come in from the Mafatlal Mill area, a more than three acres area from the adjoining plot will be included in the zoo's makeover and expansion. With the inclusion of these two plots, the zoo will then be spread across over 63 acres of land.

A senior civic official from the zoo said, "We have the land in our possession and with the apex court too dismissing their plea, we are in a secure position to start work on drafting our master layout. Phase III will focus on bringing in exotic species and we also plan to have a flamingo island for the visitors. We want the flamingoes to be a hit just like the penguins. And this phase too will need permissions and approvals from the Central Zoo Authority as the designs will have to be approved."

Cost yet to be estimated
While the cost for phase III is yet to be estimated, the civic body has in the past, spent over Rs 90 crore for phase I and Rs 119 crore for the ongoing phase II of the zoo revamp. While phase I included the construction of penguin enclosures and several civil works, phase II involves construction of 17 animal enclosures. Phase III will not be the last, but another phase, IV will focus on the core area of the zoo.

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