KENDRAPARA: The team from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Saturday visited the century old Kanika palace and museum at Rajkanika. The team is here to assess nomination of Bhitarkanika National Park as a world heritage site of UNESCO.
The team led by Naomi Doak of IUCN’s Regional Protected Areas Programme, Asia and Remco van Merm of the World Heritage Committee discussed with royal scion Shivendra Narayan Bhanjadeo and officials about the conservation work being undertaken at Kanika Palace.
Shivendra informed that the two-storey palace with 30 rooms on 35 acres of land will be renovated by famous architect Dr Pankaj Mishra within two years. To attract tourists, a portion of the palace will be converted into a heritage hotel. In 1970, the ground floor of the palace was developed into a wildlife museum. The 99cm-long skull of a salt-water crocodile displayed in the museum is a prized possession of the museum, he added.
“This apart, a special package will be created to attract tourists to Bhitarkanika
National Park, Gahiramatha Marine Sanctuary, doorless Sialia village, beach at Pentha and Satabhaya and Hukitola island,” Shivendra said.
Noted turtle biologist Bivas Pandav and senior scientist of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun Manoj Nair, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Siddhanta Das and other officials accompanied the team.