Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and wife, Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, inaugurated a rs 10-crore 'Deer Safari Park' at Bir Talab village in the district on Wednesday.
However, Sukhbir's sudden announcement that the state will open a Tiger Safari park alongside the Deer Park raised the eyebrows of officials with the forest department, though no one dared to express any dissenting view.
In fact, officials have started calculations on how to 'adjust' the new Tiger Park in the 145 acres earmarked for the Deer Safari park.
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has approved a master plan for Deer Safari Park in the area and officials of the forest department would now have to prepare a master plan for the Tiger Park in the same land.
Sources claimed that there would be shortage of space to manage the 'Tiger Safari Park' in the 145 acres meant for the Deer Park.
At the inauguration, the deputy CM claimed that this would be first such park in Malwa, where children would be getting education, besides being a centre of attraction.
Two toy trains meant for visitors will be a centre of attraction. It was here that he said: "In addition to a zoo and deer park, a Tiger Safari Park will also be set up."
When queried on this, principal chief conservative of forest HS Gujral said, "Till now, we did not have any plans. However, we will make a plan and show and show it to deputy CM. It will then go to the CZA for approval. There is enough space for Tiger Park."
Deer Safari park and zoo
Of the total 145 acres earned for the Safari Park, 115 acres is under 'Deer Safari' and 30 acres are under Mini - Zoo- cum Park. The Deer Safari contains four species of deers including 44 Back Bucks, 22 Spotted deer, 10 Sambar and two Hog deers. The zoo has been developed as per the guidelines and instructions of the CZA that is the governing authority of all the zoos in India.
CZA guidelines mandate that the existing area for the animals and birds needs to be increased. There should be separate sections with sufficient space for the black bucks, spotted deer, sambhar keeping in mind the biological needs of the deer family. The enclosure of the birds' species should also be made at a more convenient place.
To burn the bodies of animals there is a need for a proper carcass disposal unit is under construction. Besides a range and block officer each there are three guards and 15 daily workers besides a veterinary doctor.