VISAKHAPATNAM : Following the public backlash over shifting of Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, HRD minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao has announced that the proposal is yet in its initial stage and has been made only to expand the zoo area for accommodating more animals and commencing the night safari project.
The proposal for shifting the zoo, spread over 625 acre, was mooted by the HRD minister to replace it with a night safari, a botanical garden and other such tourist attractions. But, the issue attracted wide public opposition with many organisations and individuals demanding the scrapping of the project, as it would not only violate the law but also destruct fragile ecological balance.
Responding to the questions posed by reporters here Thursday, Srinivasa Rao took pains to explain that the shifting of the zoo park was in its initial stages and no concrete plan had been approved so far. The proposal was made as the existing area was not sufficient for expansion as well as inclusion of the night safari project. “We will only take up green projects in the existing area in case the zoo is shifted,” he said.
The new zoo park would come up in the Kambalakonda Reserve Forest or any other suitable area, he said, but did not explain as to how a night safari project could be taken up in the existing area if the zoo park was shifted elsewhere.
Interestingly, the minister kicked off a fresh controversy by proposing to rename the YSR VUDA Central Park adjacent to the Dwaraka Bus Station after former president of India APJ Abdul Kalam. “Internationally reputed architects would be designing the park to make it a landmark in the city. The Central Park would be a befitting tribute to the late former President of India,” he said. The proposal to change the name of the Central Park is receiving severe opposition from YSR Congress, some NGOs and individuals in the city.
Reviewing the development works at HPCL Guest House, he said that decisions pertaining to the development works will be taken fast as the Chief Minister will soon take over as the chairman of the upgraded Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority. An international school was proposed near Adavivaram for establishment as a joint venture of the State Government and the Simhachalam temple to bring quality education closer to the city dwellers, he informed.
Further, the orders for development of the international green-field airport at Bhogapuram were expected to be issued in a couple of days and the government will give complete clarity over the exact location of the airport, he said and felt that there would be no change in the location of the project.