With the Rs 480-crore Byculla zoo makeover project yet to take off, members of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), who visited the zoo last week, lambasted the authorities for sitting on the project for too long.
The zoo makeover plan was chalked out in 2007.
Sources from the zoo said experts V.B Sawarkar, former director of the Wildlife Institute of India, and Dr Erach Bharucha, CZA member, inspected the zoo to check the progress of the project and were unhappy with its condition.
“We will submit a detailed report to the CZA about the visit and what steps need to be taken to improve the situation once the bio-diversity mapping of the zoo is completed,” said Dr Bharucha.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta confirmed that the team has stressed on the need to upgrade the zoo immediately.
The makeover project is stuck with the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) for more than two years now as the members feel that the design of the new plan neglects the botanical status of the garden in the zoo.
“The lone zoo in the city is more than 150 years old and needs a overhaul immediately. New animals also need to be bought in the zoo as most of the current inmates have crossed their average life span. But according to the high court, new animals can be bought only after the zoo is upgraded,” said a civic official.