THE DAMOCLES’ sword hanging over the Kamla Nehru Zoo was finally removed today with the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) endorsing the facilities and captive animal management techniques adopted at the IMC-run zoological park.
It may be recalled that CZA inspected the zoo premises on August 28, the same day that Moti, an elephant kept at Kamla Nehru Zoo went berserk, goring and seriously injuring mahout Mohammed Ishtiaq.
The CZA okay means that cash fund flow from the Centre, which had slowed to a trickle after doubts were raised about the way in which the zoo was managed, is likely to speed up again.
The IMC had submitted a Rs 14.80 crore project for the expansion, renovation and upgradation of the zoo and the nearby Qaidi Bagh area for building pens and enclosures to house lions, cheetal, sambhar, hippopotamus, jackals and other captive animals.
After granting the first instalment of Rs 1.62 crore, however, the CZA held back further payments after questions were raised about the management of the animals.
News of the Central Authority’s all clear was given through an official statement issued by Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma today evening. Kamla Nehru is one of only two zoos in the country that are run by the local civic body rather than the CZA.