Phase III approved, BMC will procure exotic beasts, birds
The estimated cost of phase III is Rs 200 crore. The BMC has also sent two requests for proposals - one with a tender for construction of 10 enclosures, the other for the construction of five enclosures and other civic amenities' development
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) plan to display exotic animals has taken another step forward, as the Central Zoo Authority has approved its phase III or zoo extension project. The phase includes procuring the animals and birds. After the BMC acquired 12 acres of a Mafatlal Mill plot, it submitted the amended master layout for phase III for Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan or the Byculla Zoo.
The BMC claims to have got the approval in a record three months, compared to the earlier approval that took about four years. The estimated cost of phase III is R200 crore. The BMC has also sent two requests for proposals – one with a tender for construction of 10 enclosures, the other for the construction of five enclosures and other civic amenities' development.
According to the primary plans, the new enclosures will accommodate white lions, jaguars, cheetahs, ring-tailed lemurs, chimpanzees, mandrill monkeys, ostriches and emus. There will also be an aviary. A civic official said, "We have earmarked 6,000 square meters of space for the aviary, which is bigger in comparison to the whole of phase II area, which is 2,000 sq mts. With the addition of these animals and birds, the zoo will in total have 190 Indian species and 20 odd exotic species (including penguins)."
Sanjay Tripathi, director of Byculla Zoo, said, "The work on phase II is on in full swing and now with approvals from the CZA, we will also plan phase III wherein we will look at bringing in several exotic species." The civic body has spent over R90 crore for phase I and R119 crore for the ongoing phase II of the zoo revamp project. While phase I included construction of penguin enclosures and several civil works, phase II involves construction of 17 animal enclosures and part of them are likely to be opened to citizens within the coming days, said civic officials.
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