After more than 12 years, the Gorewada zoo finally got a green signal from the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) for extension of more of its area under the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980. The area under protection is now 79.07 hectares, which is 15% of the total 564 hectares where all attractions will come.
25 hectares of the total area already houses a rescue centre, quarters and administrative block.This is for the third time that the project has been curtailed.
Originally, an international level zoo was to come up in an 850 hectare-stretch at the cost of Rs 760 crores. Owing to huge costs, it was curtailed to 564 hectares for Rs 451.35 crore.
Though the proposal for forest clearance for 564 hectares was sent, FAC gave clearance to that much area where construction activity is expected to change land use.
The Principal Secretary (Forest) Vikas Kharge told TOI,
"The proposal area has not been curtailed. As a special case, forest clearance has been granted for specific area where land use will change."
On December 12, 2005, Maharashtra government resolved to develop the zoo. Later on November 29, 2011, it was handed over to the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM).
With the development facing many hurdles, forest clearance was one of the biggest, which has now been cleared.
Information source: timesofindia
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