Civic chief gives nod to new Byculla zoo makeover plan | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Civic chief gives nod to new Byculla zoo makeover plan

mumbai Updated: Sep 29, 2011 01:32 IST
Sujit Mahamulkar
Sujit Mahamulkar
Hindustan Times
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After the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to revise its makeover plan for the Byculla Zoo, the civic body has submitted a fresh plan that will ensure the project is completed by undertaking minimum construction and at one-third the original budget.

On Wednesday, the new plan was presented to municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar, who gave his nod to the project. “The plan will be submitted to the CZA next week for a final approval,” said a zoo authority official, who did not wish to be named.

The much-delayed revamp of the 150-year-old zoo, popularly known as Ranibagh, will now take place on the lines of its new theme — Living Together —where animals and birds that can co-exist will be housed in one enclosure. The cost of executing this new plan will be Rs150 crore as compared to the Rs450-crore plan prepared earlier. Thailand-based firm HKS Designers & Consultants International has designed the revised plan.

The BMC plans to bring in five exotic species, the jaguar, humboldt penguin, hippopotamus, zebra and emu. Eighteen indigenous species which include the Indian hyena, jackal, wolf, sloth bear, wild dogs, porcupine, gaur, mouse deer, swamp deer, sambar, common otter, Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, leopard, jungle cat, common civet cat, palm civet cat and the large Indian civet cat would also be added.

The new plan will be implemented in three phases. Under phase I, enclosures and ponds would be built for animals. Under phase II and III, the animals would be relocated.

The CZA had objected to BMC’s earlier plan because it required major changes in the existing structure of the zoo. Activists alleged that the makeover would also require the cutting of rare trees.

Civic officials have assured the CZA that they would maintain the flora bio-diversity in the zoo. Public amenities such as resting places, drinking water fountains, toilets and rain shelters have also been planned.