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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Safari park mooted, tigers to roar again in Nahargarh

By Rachna Singh, TNN | Feb 6, 2013, 07.29 AM IST 'Realise need to save environment'Environment film festival in DelhiEnvironment committee report damns KozhikodeRiver, lakes conservation: Panel slams environment ministryGlobal environment remains unpredictable: Genpact vice-chairman JAIPUR: The Nahargarh hills in the city may soon become a destination for wildlife lovers coming to Jaipur if a proposal to start tiger safari in the sanctuary area is approved. The idea is to cash on tourists who visit Amber by creating an additional tourism facility. Besides the forts and the museums , Jaipur would also become a potential wildlife destination and a quick substitute to Ranthambore and Sariska Tiger Reserve. "Though discussions are at a preliminary stage, tiger safari at Nahargarh sanctuary has great potential. The sanctuary at the moment houses just the rescue centre and soon work would commence on Nahargarh Zoological Park funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Once it is completed in two years, the Jaipur zoo, established in 1877, would be shifted there. But an added attraction would be the tiger safari in 30 hectares," said Bina Kak, minister for tourism, environment and forests . The Nahargarh Biological Park is spread over 720 hectares . Part of the park is the Nahargarh Zoological Park covering an area of 80 hectares . The proposed tiger safari in Nahargarh, which initially was the abode of tigers, would offer tourists assured sighting of the big cat in its natural habitat. "We are contemplating talking to the Chattbir zoo near Chandigarh as it has excess tigers. At the moment they house nearly 30-35 tigers. Another option could be the Delhi zoo from where we could bring the tigers," said Kak. Keeping in tune with the entire project, there wouldn't be a prey base for the tigers. "The tourists will be taken on a special route in guarded vehicles . We plan to leave two to four tigers in the forest here. There would be a double-layer fencing of the 30 hectares so that the tigers don't stray out," said Ajay Gupta, deputy conservator of forests (zoo). If implemented, Nahargarh may become a total wildlife destination. The master layout plan has been approved by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), and designs of the various enclosures are complete. Add to the two facilities to be developed, the rescue centre at the Nahargarh Biological Park already houses nine tigers, one tiger and 14 lions. "We have planned to develop two or three routes in and around the Nahargarh Biological Park on which tourists will be allowed safaris with trained guides by forest department. The tourists visiting the park will be charged a nominal fee as per the policy of department . Under the ongoing JICA project Rajasthan Forestry & Biodiversity Project phase I, infrastructural facilities like water supply, electricity, boundary wall and roads are already in place. Now, under the RFPB, for which the government has received Rs 13 crore from JICA, animal enclosures would be created to shift animals from the Jaipur zoo.

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