200 zoos to be graded soon
People will soon be able to know which are India's best zoos, with the authorities starting the grading process for nearly 200 zoos in the country based on their performance on different parameters. Those faring poorly could even be penalised.
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA), which oversees the functioning of zoos, has developed a grading system and launched a pilot project of evaluating seven major zoological parks across the country.
“We have developed a grading process like the one prevalent in Western countries. All facilities in zoos will be measured on various indices and they will be rated accordingly,” said BS Bonal, member secretary of the authority.
The seven zoos selected for the pilot project are Assam State Zoo; Sanjay Gandhi Zoo, Patna; Kamala Nehru Zoo, Ahmedabad; Sri Chamaraja Zoo, Mysore; Nandankanan Zoo, Bhubaneshwar; Nehru Zoo, Hyderabad; and Vandalur Zoo, Chennai.
The grading will be done on a scale of 1-100 under categories like sanitation, planning, environment, human resources, animal enclosures, health, education and awareness among staff, administration, visitor facilities and overall upkeep.
“Members will visit the seven zoos and the evaluation process in these is likely to be completed in the next two months. After that, we will see if the grading system developed by us can fit all zoos,” said BK Gupta, the authority’s evaluation and monitoring officer.