Jungle safari to come up on PLPA, Aravalli plantation lands in Ggm, Nuh dists
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav to visit Sharjah Safari today
: Haryana government’s proposed jungle safari on about 3,858 hectares (about 9,533 acres) in Aravallis in Gurugram and Nuh districts will come up on land closed under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) and tracts which are part of the Aravalli plantation project.
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Union minister for environment, forest and climate change Bhupender Yadav on Wednesday left for a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates to take a look at the Sharjah Safari park which is spread over 800 hectares and is house to 120 wildlife species.
Officials said that if implemented, the Aravalli safari would be the largest project of this nature in the world.
“The Aravalli safari park will help conserve biodiversity of Aravallis by harbouring and preserving natural heritage of the area, including flora and fauna, besides providing a wide range of ecological services,” said an official.
Haryana forest officials said that the proposed area to be undertaken as Aravalli conservation zone, the safari being a part of it, is contiguous patch of land in Aravalli hills which have a degraded green cover due to development activities and human interference. The landscape of the sites selected is undulating in nature with varying soil depth, poor moisture retention and prone to water stress.
“Primarily, the PLPA notified area of Sakatpur, Gairatpur Bas and Shikohpur villages in Gurugram are proposed for the development of Aravalli conservation zone. However, adjoining patches of forest areas may also be included to make large and contiguous forest conservation zone. These forest patches include Bhondsi cluster in Gurugram comprising of Bhondsi, Ghamroj, Alipur, Tikli and Aklimpur, Naurangpur and Bar Gujjar villages in Gurugram and Mewat cluster comprising of Kota Khandewla, Gangani, Mohamadpur Ahir, Kharak, Jalalpur, Bhango and Chalka villages in Nuh forest division,” a forest official said.
The PLPA notified area under private ownership though will be kept out of the proposed area, officials said.
Central Zoo Authority conducted feasibility study
Officials said the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) officials who had visited the sites of the proposed safari in Gurugram and Nuh to assess the feasibility for its establishment had noted that there is adequate land of appropriate quality, scope for raising tree belts of adequate width to act as buffer against noise and air pollution, motorable access to the selected sites, and possibility for obtaining potable water to the site through the pipeline supplying water to Gurugram.
As per CZA guidelines, carnivore safari should have a minimum area of 20 hectares, whereas herbivore safari should have a minimum area of 30 hectares.
“Possible species that could comprise of the collection included herbivores adapted to the arid regions such as gazelles, antelopes, deers and carnivores like leopard, hyenas which are native to the region,” a tourism official said.
Panel under Central environment ministry official to steer the project
The Central government has set up a committee under the chairmanship of additional director general of forests (Project Tiger), Union environment ministry, SP Yadav to steer the safari project.
Officials of the Haryana tourism, the nodal agency for the implementation of the project, said that drone imaging of the Gurugram portion has been completed and a GIS map of the entire area has been prepared and the process of preparation of a digital elevation model with one meter contour levels is under way. The deputy commissioners of Gurugram and Nuh would start the process of demarcation of the area with the help of forest department.
An expression of interest was invited by the Haryana tourism for development of conceptual design to develop a detailed master plan of Aravalli safari park. “Two companies, Tagbin and Aegis, have qualified and shortlisted,” officials said.
Officials said an Aravalli Foundation would be established to act as a special purpose vehicle for managing the safari project. ENDS