VIJAYAWADA: Ever since YSRC came to power in the State, several projects have come to a standstill. One of them pertains to the proposed construction of a zoological park atop Tadepalli hillock in the Tadepalli reserve forest area.The seven-member expert committee constituted by the forest department that formulated a proposal to set up a zoological park, botanical garden and conduct jungle safaris in the capital region, has made changes to the plan and decided to make provisions for conducting only the safaris, keeping in mind the financial constraints that the State is undergoing at present. The committee states that setting up a zoological park would require an investment of `300 crore, while jungle safaris can be conducted post a mere investment of `60 crore to `70 crore.
“Despite former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s keenness to construct a zoological park, permissions for acquiring land in and around the capital reason could not be acquired due to land scarcity. Initially, the new government agreed to the proposal but had to back out as it is not financially sound to build such a park. So we changed the plan to only having jungle safaris,” one of the experts on the committee said to TNIE on condition of anonymity.
Following changes in the plan, the proposed land area as well as location for conducting the safaris has also changed. As per reports, 500 to 600 acres of land in Tadepalli forest was earmarked for constructing the park. Now, the site has been shifted to Kondapalli forest and is spread over 1250 acres.A major reason behind opting for just the jungle safari is its economical aspect.
“To set up a facility to conduct safaris in Kondapalli forest the State government has to shelve `50 crore at max. This, coupled with an initial investment of `20 crore is enough to solve all logistical problems,” the expert added.Citing other possible reasons for the change in plans, the expert said, “As per the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the land in question cannot be utilised for for non-foresting activities. This created a big hurdle in acquiring the land in Tadepalli. NGT also ruled that no green blocks in and around the capital area cannot be touched as they will function as lungs for the upcoming capital.”
He further said that it is important to build such facilities in proximity to the capital so that people can access such facilities. “If people cannot reach such recreational spots and if there is no regular footfall especially on weekends, it would be difficult to continue such activities. Thus, it is vital that we start such activities near to capital Amaravati.”