If you had been waiting to see the Humboldt penguins at Byculla zoo, you will have to wait till next year. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has not been able to appoint an agency for their upkeep.
Dr Sanjay Tripathi, Byculla zoo director (in charge), said the tenders had not got a single response. “This has delayed getting the penguins here.”
The BMC is in the process of floating fresh tenders to appoint an agency.
Last year, Byculla zoo authority planned to bring six penguins under the ongoing Rs150-crore renovation project.
The penguins were to be brought in March but as the enclosure work was not completed, September was set as the new deadline. The BMC has purchased six penguins (three males and three females) worth Rs2.57 crore from a Thailand firm. An addition of Rs.6.50 crore will be spent on the maintenance of penguins for five years. The BMC has already paid the token amount to the penguin supplier.
Initially, the zoo authorities had clubbed the purchase and maintenance contract.
“As we didn’t get any response, we have separated the tenders for maintenance and purchase,” said Tripathi.
The plan is to have an aquarium on premises of the penguins’ enclosure.
A senior civic official said: “The penguins’ diet and maintenance will be a tedious job. Moreover, the aquarium’s maintenance too will need expert hands. This was another reason no contractor had come forward to bid.”
The revamp work is expected to be completed before December 2016.
The Humboldt penguin is a South American species found in cold climate of coastal Peru and Chile. The medium-size penguins grow 50 cms to 70 cms long. The enclosure in the zoo has been designed as per the climatic conditions where they are found.
* Six South American Humboldt penguins, expected to be brought to Byculla zoo in September, will arrive next year.
* The appointment of an agency for maintenance and supply of special diet of penguins has been delayed as there has been no bidders.
* The BMC will float a fresh tender for the penguins’ maintenance as well as upkeep of an aquarium.
* Byculla zoo is undergoing a Rs 150-crore revamp which is expected to be complete next year.
* The revamp plan has included more animals such as tiger, Asiatic lion, exotic fish and zebra in the zoo. The BMC will build 24 enclosures and the animals will be bought in a year’s time.