Holi gift: CM Yogi to inaugurate Gorakhpur zoo today
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath will dedicate Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan Zoological Park (Gorakhpur zoo) to the locals on the eve of Holi on Saturday.
“Gorakhpur zoo, the much-anticipated project of the Yogi-led government, is all set to open its gate for the people on March 27. It is a unique zoo in the country and will be the biggest in Eastern UP,” said a state government spokesperson.
The project was conceived a decade ago in May 2011 but was abandoned by two previous governments of the state.
It was revived soon after the Yogi Adityanath government came to power in 2017.
Along with giving boost to tourism, the zoo will give thrust to employment in the Purvanchal region, said the spokesperson.
Majority of animals in the Gorakhpur zoo have been brought from the zoos of Lucknow and Kanpur.
Set of zebras from Israel will be a special attraction for tourists in the coming days.
At present there are 153 wildlife enclosures here. The lions of Gujarat were brought in February from Etawah Lion Safari. Cheetah, leopard, hippopotamus, deer, swamp deer (barasingha), chital, jackal, python, Russell viper, bonnet macaque (a species of monkey), sambar, fox (fox), kakar (barking deer), Pada (hog deer), crocodile, Wild cat, tortoise, porcupine, parrot, peacock etc. have been brought here, he said.
Two cafeterias, bus safaris, battery-operated golf car for the elderly and toy trains on PPP model will also be available for tourists in the zoo area. The ODOP (One District One Product) product has also been given a platform at the zoo in Gorakhpur. This will also provide tourists the facility to view and buy ODOP products here, he said.
The spokesperson said the zoo was just confined to the papers until Yogi Adityanath came into power. Since 2011, Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam, looking after the work of the project, only kept transferring the project managers in the name of progress. As of January 2018, seven project managers were replaced.
Layout approval, construction and inflow of animals have been supervised regularly by the CM. The foundation of the zoo was laid on May 18, 2011 during the then BSP government. The SP government was formed in 2012 and till 2016 the zoo project was completely neglected. The work of approving the layout from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), starting the construction work and completing the enclosure with wildlife was done by CM Yogi Adityanath himself.
With an approval of ₹181.83 crore, the Yogi government launched the construction of the zoo in August 2018. To accelerate the work, the approval from the Expenditure Finance Committee was increased to ₹259.15 crore in January 2019. The work of finalizing the master layout of Gorakhpur Zoo in Central Zoo Authority (CZA) was also done in October 2017 under the direction of CM, he said.
Serpentarium, Butterfly Park, 7D Theatre are the added attraction for tourists.
“This is the first zoo with a huge 34 acre of wetland,” he said.