Jammu: Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh today asked the Wildlife department to expedite ongoing works on Jambu Zoo (Shivalik Biological Park) for timely completion so that the spot serves as a major attraction for tourists especially wildlife lovers.
The Minister issued these directions while interacting with the officers of the department after inspecting the works being executed at the Zoo being developed at Khanpur, Nagrota here.
Chief Wildlife Warden ManojPanth, Regional Director Wildlife Senthil Kumar besides other senior officers accompanied the Minister.
Terming the project vital for attracting tourists to Jammu, Choudhary Lal Singh said it will also help in preservation and protection of forest land. He asked the executing agency to use quality material on animal enclosures, approach roads, entry gate and waterfall etc. He informed that the Government has provided Rs 120 crore for developing Jambu Zoo on the pattern of Asia Zoo which will facilitate people see the animals in their natural habitat.
The zoo will house animals like Sambar dear, Spotted deer, Blue bull, Black buck, Barking deer,Hog deer, goat, Fishing cat, Bear sloth, wild Boar, crocodile etc.
The Minister said Jammu and Kashmir is the only state which has 15.58 per cent of the total geographical area under protected network. “The need is to put concerted efforts to preserve and protect the wildlife,” he added.
Choudhary Lal Singh said the man-animal conflict is an outcome of undue interference of humans in the natural habitat of animals thus posing great threat to the existence of both the entities. He said to minimize such conflicts, the forest department has taken initiative to go for plantation of fruits plants in forest enclosures so that animals shall find their food within their natural habitat,” Singh said.
The Minister said the animals are important component of ecology and any threat to them will have negative consequences on human existence. He said the department has undertaken mass plantation drives across the state which is one of the steps towards increasing forest wealth of the state. He appealed the people to plant trees on every important occasion for healthy environ.
It was informed that the work on chain link fencing covering the Zoo area would be started within a week’s time. Besides, the Zoo would have Safari Park, Butterfly garden, insect park, Sambar, Hog, spotted deer, Blue bull, black buck, Goat wild, Bear Himalayan black, Bear Sloth and Eagle tawny enclosures. The place would also have an artificial lake, artificial waterfall, overhead water tank, underground water tank, public amenities including canteen reception centre and a massive network of roads besides would have 70-foot entry gate on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.