ASI-protected monument comes in way of zoo expansion
The presence of Kos Minar, an Archaeological Survey of India-protected (ASI) structure enclosed in a roundabout on a road inside the sprawling Delhi zoo, likely to affect its expansion plans.
According to the master layout, the authorities have planned a major re-hauling, that includes an aquarium, insectarium, a butterfly park along with different zones representing different geographical areas of India, apart from a new comprehensive visitor centre, automated parking, a fine dining facility just outside the ticketing area and reworking the visitor-circulation path.
Most of the new buildings and constructions have been planned to avoid the 0-100 metre off set (called the prohibited area) for ASI-protected monuments, such as the Kos Minar and the Purana Qila right next to it. For construction falling between 101-300 metres (regulated area), the proposal will need clearance first from the Competent Authority and then from the National Monument Authority (NMA). There are a few public conveniences shown in the master layout plan near the Kos Minar too.
“But right now, there is no construction planned around the Kos Minar. As and when in future we would need to construct toilets, we would try to build it beyond 100 metres,” said Amitabh Agnihotri, Zoo Director.
The focus right now, Agnihotri emphasised, is on getting the visitor centre re-aligned. The proposal is being examined by the Competent Authority (for Delhi), which has conducted meetings/inspection in this connection. Once it is cleared by this authority, the proposal is due to go to the National Monument Authority.