Ormanjhi-based Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park must hiss its thanks to Sudesh Mahto.
After all, the deputy chief minister, who also holds the forest and environment portfolio, has finally found time from his busy schedule to inaugurate the Rs 37.47-lakh snake house at the zoo, which had been waiting for a VIP to open it for three years. He will do the honours at 11am on Saturday. Besides the snake house, the audio-visual auditorium and battery-operated vans will also be inaugurated.
Mahto, who had earlier agreed to do the honours but cancelled the plan at the last moment, had told The Telegraph last September that he was ready to inaugurate the facility that month only. The minister indeed stuck to the month, only it’s a year later.
Nevertheless, the authorities of the zoo, which was losing a huge amount of revenue in the form of entry fees, are pleased. After all, it’s better late than never.
“We are happy that finally, he (Sudesh Mahto) has agreed to inaugurate it now,” a zoo official told The Telegraph.
Zoo director P.K. Verma confirmed the development, saying that Mahto would be accompanied by senior forest officials. “We got the schedule this (Friday) morning and everyone is geared up for the event,” he said.
The ticket prices for entry into the snake house is Rs 5, Rs 10 for the audio-visual auditorium and Rs 30 per person for a ride on the battery-operated vehicles.
“Imagine the amount of revenue we lost over the past three years. The craze for the snake house and audio-visual auditorium is immense. Everyday, we used to get requests from scores of visitors, but had to turn them down as the facilities were not open. But hopefully, the zoo coffers will start filling up now,” said an official.
At present, the snake chamber is home to over 13 reptiles.
The collection ranges from cobra (both mono and bispectacled), krait, branded krait, pit viper, Russell’s viper, cat snake to the less poisonous ones like trinket and dhamin among others.