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Jaipur to have elephant village

Elephants in Jaipur and their keepers will have a new home, with work on a 'hathi gaon' (elephant village) to start soon.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2005 20:34 IST

Elephants in Jaipur and their keepers will have a new home, with work on a 'hathi gaon' (elephant village) to start soon.

The Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) has handed over possession of 30 hectares of land on the Delhi bypass road to the Rajasthan Tourism department.

"The chief minister (Vasundhara Raje) was very keen on this project. She has strongly directed that the project should be completed at the earliest," a state government spokesperson told IANS.

After completion of the project - the first of its kind in India - all the elephants in the city are expected to bid adieu to their present nomadic status.

Under the project, the tourism department will provide shelter to about 100 elephants. At the moment, the elephants, used to ferry tourists to Amber Fort and sometimes carry load, spend the night on the city streets.

The project would include a natural park-like shelter for elephants with extensive plantation, a well-equipped veterinary hospital and proper sewerage facilities.

Besides, a small man-made pond would come up for the elephants to play in. The elephant keepers (mahouts) would be provided residential accommodation in the park.

Other tourist facilities would include restaurants, an artefact manufacturing centre and a special museum depicting Rajasthani culture and tradition.

Elephant owners earn roughly about Rs3,000 a day ferrying tourists but each elephant consumes food worth about Rs700 daily.

The plantation within the park will not be meant for providing elephant feed, which, as is done now, will be purchased by the owners from outside.

First Published: Sep 28, 2005 20:34 IST