Spread over 28.37 hectare, the Gondwana forest near Nagpur will soon be transformed into an international wild life park, on the lines of the Singapore zoo.
The decision, taken in the state cabinet meeting on Wednesday, looks at this park as an initiative to boost state tourism, since Nagpur is the state tiger capital.
The state forest department has decided to set aside Rs720 crore for the project. It has appointed Bernard Harrison and Friends Ltd, the company that conceptualised the Singapore zoological gardens and maintained them from 1983 to 2002. The company has prepared a master plan for the project.
“There will be a bio-park, an African safari, a river ride and a reserve. For 2011-12, we have set aside a Rs50 crore budget for the same,” chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Wednesday.
The zoo is expected to attract more than 25 lakh tourists annually. It will also have a relief centre, to take care of animals in case of illness/injury. A separate division will be set up to train people to handle situations related to man-animal conflicts.
The project will be implemented on a public private partnership (PPP). The state will provide the land, while the private agency will be in charge of construction and maintenance of the park.
Meanwhile, in a desperate bid to increase the number of trees in the state the state government has taken up a plan to sow 100 crore plants in the next 5 years.