Nov. 27: The Assam state zoo plans to become the finest modern zoo in the country and aims to conserve rare species of plants and animals in the Northeast.
A master plan released today by state forest minister Rakibul Hussain gives utmost importance to the unique physical features of the area where the zoo is located by adapting a mixed theme.
“The zoo has finalised the new layout master plan along with the collection plan (for animals), which have been approved by the Central Zoo Authority for an all-out attempt to create the finest modern zoo of the 21st century,” the master plan states.
The master plan, which was initiated in 1998 and unveiled today by Hussain, aims to make the zoo an ideal place for conservation and breeding of rare, endangered and endemic species of the region.
Although the duration of the master plan is 10 years (2011-12 to 2020-21) the master plan details activities to be taken up till 2015-16.
Around Rs 10,131 lakh will be required for implementing the plan.
The plan also proposes that the surroundings of the zoo should resemble a natural scenery with a few old trees as top canopy interspersed with middle lower canopy trees and the ground covered by close canopy plants.
Another feature of the plan is ex-situ or “off-site” conservation.
It is the process of protecting endangered plant and animal species outside their natural habitat; by either removing a part of its population from a threatened habitat and placing it in a new location.
The authorities have also planned to meet future exigency.
“As the feed supply is on contract basis, disruption to some extent cannot be ruled out. In case of meat for carnivores, the same is brought from slaughterhouses on the Assam-Meghalaya border. Hence, the supply may be affected to a large extent. Keeping this in mind, a slaughterhouse will be set up in the earmarked area of the zoo. In order to meet the exigencies, it is proposed to set up a facility to keep livestock at least for a week. A large freezer with back-up generator needs to be installed for meeting exigencies. During strikes or agitation by workers and other staff, alternate arrangement for carrying out routine or emergency work has to be ensured through service providers,” the plan document said.
Use of technology will also be done with a proposal to fix CCTV cameras at the entry gate, booking counters, ration house, beef house, animal enclosures and various strategic locations for necessary surveillance, according to the masterplan.