NEW DELHI: After a massive fire destroyed the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), the Centre today said that it will undertake energy and fire audit of all its 34 museums across the country while it also plans to construct a new museum in the national capital.
The government has also ordered an enquiry into the incident which destroyed exhibits like herpetological specimens and taxidermied animals and said the NMNH will be temporarily closed for public.
"Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has ordered an energy and fire audit of all establishments of the Ministry across the country," an official statement said.
Javadekar, according to the statement, said that such an audit is important, as there are 34 museums – including ZSI and BSI which are visited by thousands of people daily.
The Minister said there will be an "inquiry into the incident," the statement said. Javadekar had earlier visited the spot in central Delhi and described the fire mishap as "unfortunate".
"This is a real loss. We will assess the loss and see how we can restore it and how the recovery plan can be made. There are plans to move to another area to create a new museum," Javadekar said.
The project of constructing a new museum will be done at an estimated cost is Rs 225 crores and while the conceptual work is in progress, a committee has also been formed for the purpose, the statement said.
"6.5 acres land has been allotted to the Ministry (Environment) behind Purana Quila near Pragati Maidan in the national capital. The cost of the land has already been paid.
"The work of consultancy for preparation of detailed concept plan has been finalized. Statutory clearances from different agencies will be obtained after finalization of Land Use Change (LUC) and DPR," the statement said.
The proposal for LUC for allotted land will be considered on April 27 by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) which will chaired by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, the statement added.
NMNH held a treasure trove of intangible heritage with a vast collection of stuffed animals and birds offering visitors an insight into natural history, ecology and environment.