Chandigarh: Decks cleared for walk-in aviary near Sukhna Lake
The decks have been cleared for setting up a walk-in aviary near Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh.
“The ministry has given the go ahead for the project, as it doesn’t violate any prescribed rules for such a facility,” said UT adviser Dharam Pal.
Earlier, the construction was suspended by the UT forest department on directions of the assistant inspector general (AIG) of forests, Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change.
The issue involved whether the aviary is a zoo or not. “The ministry on Monday concluded that the aviary does not come under the purview of a zoo. They accepted our contention that it is not a zoo and it does not have any scheduled species,” said Pal.
The ministry’s decision came after the appraisal committee of the central zoo authority under the ministry of environment inspected the site and interacted with UT forest department officials.
Earlier, the AIG had intervened after a city-based RTI activist objected to the aviary, claiming it be like a cage for the birds. Animal rights activist and politician Maneka Gandhi had also raised objection to the project.
The aviary is coming up at City Forest near Sukhna Lake and will house over 40 rare species of exotic birds. It will have separate enclosures for aquatic and terrestrial birds.
“Apart from free flight, the best possible natural habitat will be provided to the birds for nesting and breeding. It will become a major tourist attraction in the city,” said a forest official.