Preliminary works for the establishment of a tropical butterfly conservatory in Srirangam is set to begin soon with funds being granted to the Forest Department for this purpose.

The State government has sanctioned Rs. 1.61 crore as first instalment to the Forest Department to carry out a host of works for setting up the conservatory which will come up in the Upper Anicut reserve forest in Srirangam. The funds have been provided from the 13 Finance Commission.

The conservatory is being established to foster conservation of butterfly species and educate public about its significant role in maintaining ecological equilibrium.

The initial funds that have been allocated would be utilised for formation of footpath to a length of 750 metres with adequate cross drains; erection of borewells for drinking and domestic water requirements; installation of reverse osmosis plant; creation of lawn and rock garden as part of landscaping; installation of halogen lamps and garden lights; construction of ponds; formation of artificial streams and installation of self reflective sign and information boards.

25 hectares

Markings for creation of individual facilities inside the conservatory, which will come up in a total area of 25 hectares, have been done taking the help of a consultant. Estimates were under preparation and the initial works would start in a couple of months after floating tenders, says the District Forest Officer I. Anwardeen.

The conservatory will encompass various facilities including indoor butterfly conservatory, outdoor butterfly conservatory, breeding laboratory, nursery and shade nest house, host plant farm, interpretation facilities, children's park, ‘raasi and nakshathra vanam', tourist infrastructure facilities and an administrative office. Host, nectar and roosting plants would be raised inside the conservatory for the butterflies.

The Forest Department would rope in entomologists and botanists to provide technical support and guidance in the establishment and maintenance of the conservatory, says Mr. Anwardeen. The conservatory was expected to be commissioned in two years. The total cost of the project is Rs.8.6 crore.

Funds to the tune of nearly Rs.1crore would be provided by the State Tourism Department for this project that is to come up in the Chief Minister's constituency.