R. Rajaram

The master plan has been forwarded to State government

Zoo will come up on a total area of 63 hectares

It will house over 500 animals of 35 species

TIRUCHI: The Forest Department has incorporated additional requirements in the comprehensive master plan chalked out for the proposed zoological park at M. R. Palayam Reserve Forest, a few km from the city.

The department has included in the master plan, which has been forwarded to the State government, a disaster management scheme for the “medium” zoo to evacuate animals during times of emergency.

In this regard, the plan has proposed for evacuation vehicles and ventilated and foldable wire cages to evacuate animals and birds in case of crisis such as fire accidents. The wire cages would differ as per the size of the species. The zoo will house over 500 animals of 35 species.

Another additional requirement proposed is the elevated enclosures to ensure that the animals were safe during flooding. Every animal would have an identity tag with a number which has been proposed for tracking them down in case of any emergency within the zoo which will come up on a total area of 63 hectares.

In addition to air and water type fire extinguishers and fire fighting units, the plan has also proposed for a quarantine room to house the rescued, orphaned and seized animals for a period of 30 days before introduction to the specific enclosures.

A notable aspect in the plan is the suggestion for installation of emergency alarms in enclosures housing dangerous wild animals to sound an immediate alert to the zoo staff in case the animal tries to escape.

A captive breeding centre; isolation ward for treating the resident animals suffering from infections besides a veterinary hospital; e-governance to minimise the work load; tele-conferencing facility with other zoological parks for exchange of information on aspects such as animal health, nutrition and in case of epidemic situation are the other additional aspects proposed in the plan.

Website planned

A website for the zoo has also been planned to enable web-based interface for the general public for e-ticketing as well as to know information including zoo timings. The additional mandatory requirements as per the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) have been proposed in the plan on the instruction of the Chief Wildlife Warden, says the Divisional Forest Officer, Social Forestry Division, Tiruchi Deepak Srivasthava who had prepared the comprehensive document. The plan has projected Rs. 59 crore for establishment, development and maintenance of the zoo over a period of five years. The master plan would be submitted to the CZA through the State government for final approval, Mr. Srivasthava said.