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State’s first, ‘SajjanGarh Biological Park’ ready to charm visitors

Udaipur : Many would have seen wild beasts moving inside cages in a zoo, but real fun is to see them roam around in the open. Few days from now, tourists and locales would be flocking to Sajjangarh Biological Park to see plethora of birds, reptiles and animals in their natural habitat. As the much awaited park project is nearing its completion and almost ready for inauguration this month, a boost in tourism is also expected. Forest department is awaiting Chief Minister’s consent for the inauguration and once open, the park is sure to receive huge fanfare from nature lovers making it another eco-tourism destination. With the shifting of all animals to the park, the Aravalli ranges and wetlands would be in harmony with the faunal species where natural breeding can occur in the wild. This will help to regain other depleted areas with species breed in the wild and also assist programs on nature education.

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The construction work of the park which took off in 2004-05 with the financial assistance of Japan International Co-operation Agency under Rajasthan Forestry and Biodiversity Project has incurred a total cost of 21.70 crore rupees.The park has been developed in an area of 36 hectares outside the Sajjangarh wild life sanctuary limits in a chunk of forest land. A decade back, when the recognition of the existing zoo at Gulab Bagh campus faced threat after failing norms prescribed by the Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi, the necessity to reform led to the idea of creating a satellite facility here and now the park claims be the first in the state to amuse visitors with its enticing animal world. Similar parks are underway at Jodhpur and Jaipur. The various civil construction works are being executed by the Rajasthan State Road Development and Construction Corporation Ltd. and service road made by the Public Works Department . The forestry related works are being done by the Forest Department.

28 enclosures for varied species

As many as 28 enclosures are to be developed as per the master layout plan and 20 have been completed so far. Beasts listed in the various schedules of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, would be kept here including Asiatic lion, Tiger, Panther, Rusty Spotted Cat, Jungle Civets, Fishing cats, Desert Fox, Rhesus monkey and Langurs, Chowsingha, Black Bucks, Chinkara, Sloth and Black Bear, Wolf, Ratels, Alligators ,Crocodiles etc. There would be enclosures for Porcupines, Hyena, Fox, Jackal, HedgeHogs and Butterfly house too. “Black buck, Chinkara, Sambhar and Spotted Deer have been released in the newly established park and efficacy of enclosures is under trial.

The shifting of rest animals will be completed soon” informed Rahul Bhatnagar, the Chief Conservator Forest (wild life). So far sanction for shifting of a male and female Panther from Junagarh’s Sakkarbagh Zoo in Gujarat, a male and two female alligators from Ram Niwas Zoo, Jaipur and one tigress from Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park & Wildlife Research Center, Katraj, Pune have been issued by the Central Zoo Authority, which will be procured soon, Bhatnagar said. Various enrichment works like construction of water trough, shade, installation of salt lick, creation of cave rock work, plantations etc. have been completed to improve the micro habitat of respective enclosures. Rest 8 enclosures for tortoise, Reptile house, Nocturnal house, Porcupine, Ratel enclosure, Hedgehog, Indian Otter and Butter fly house will be completed during next phase. “The boundary wall construction and installation of solar power fencing have been completed. Ticket Counter, Parking, Nutrition centre, Veterinary Hospital, Cafeteria and Toilets construction work is under progress and same will be completed in two to three weeks” Bhatnagar informed.

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