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Night safari in Vandalur Zoo to become reality soon


Posted on : 23/Feb/2021 9:22:57 AM

Vandalur Zoo in Chennai has been attracting many people for so many years now. This zoo has got many types of animals and birds and people throng this zoo during the holidays or during festivals to have a nice time is well known.

The news that has emerged out now is that Vandalur Zoo has been planning to start night safari on a portion of the reserve forest near the rescue and rehabilitation centre on Vandalur- Kelambakkam Road. The good news is that the proposal that was sent to the TN government regarding night safari has been accepted and the zoo management would be looking out for funds.

In August 2019, the chief minister of TN Mr. E. Palaniswamy visited this zoo and a meeting was held regarding starting night safari here. This was according to a senior wildlife officer. In 2020, CM grabbed many eyeballs in the Assembly when he announced about up-grading of infrastructure at the zoo. In the meeting that took place in September 2020, it was decided that safari would be developed under public-private partnership. It was mentioned by an officer that TNIFMC or Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Fund Management Corporation Ltd would lay down the norms to get funds. To oversee the project, an in-house team would be formed under TNIFMC.

The department had prepared a concept note on night safari and had sent it to the government. This was pointed out by the principal chief conservator of forests and head of the forest department Mr S. Yuvaraj. Truth is that the government had accepted the concept and would take steps to establish a new facility at the Vandalur zoo.

Many would be surprised to know that the night safari was mooted 14 years back itself. In 2009, TN government had sanctioned Rs 156 crores for safari zone and another Rs 36 crores for an entertainment zone with an amphitheatre, recreation centre and an interpretation centre. Work on the night safari began with the release of funds in 2010. 

A circular road laid by the zoo authorities was designed by the structural engineering division of the Anna University civil engineering department. Enclosures for tigers, elephants, Indian gaur were constructed also. The government shelved the project and it could not take off. It must be recalled that in August 2011, another proposal was submitted after reducing the cost to Rs 82 crores. A retired zoo officer revealed that this proposal was rejected.
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