With environmentalists across the city protesting against the makeover plan of Byculla zoo, fearing that the existing green cover will be damaged, the civic body will conduct an extensive bio-diversity mapping of the zoo.
This will include, identification, naming, listing and locating a variety of trees and other floral species in the 53-acre zoo premise with the help of GPS mapping.
The Rs 433 crore Byculla zoo makeover proposal has been pending with the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) for approval for more than a year. The committee has asked the civic body to rework the design so that no tree is damaged and the zoo’s botanical garden is retained.
The decision was taken on Tuesday after Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta undertook a joint visit to the zoo along with botanist Dr Marselin Almeida who has worked with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
Gupta said, “The MHCC expressed genuine concerns to the administration. And after deliberations during our visit, we learnt the zoo is home to several species of plants and shrubs that need to be identified and documented so they are not lost.”
The mapping will begin this week, and should be completed before August 15.
“The mapping will be done by the civic garden department and help will be taken from Dr Almeida and his team,” said a zoo official.