July 9, 2013 3:18:05 am
The project cost for the proposed Crocodile Ecological and Refugee Centre on the banks of the Vishwamitri river has risen three-fold,from Rs 5 crore to Rs 15 crore even as the project continues to remain on the drawing board since 2011.
The project received a push earlier this month with the state environment and forest department allocating the initial fund of Rs 1 crore to the proposed centre. However,the Vadodara Municipal Corporations (VMC) request for the 25 acres of land is yet to be granted by the state revenue department.
Though the corporation remains confident about securing the land,sources say the two year delay has already taken the cost up from Rs 5 crore to Rs 15 crore.
The delay has meant a raise in the project cost as the plan has become more ambitious since 2011. The initial plan was to conserve the rare Mugger species of crocodiles,but now a research centre is also being planned. Till the land is handed over to the VMC,the initial fund will be of no use, said an official.
The VMCs plan to build the crocodile park has been in the pipeline since 2010. Along with the crocodile park,the municipal corporation had also planned to build an open park on an area of 66 acres.
R K Sugoor,Deputy Municipal Commissioner, says,Our original request was for 66 acres of land,but now we have forwarded the request through the collector to the state revenue department for 25 acres of land.
Municipal Commissioner Manish Bharadwaj says,The allocation of the land should not be a problem because the area is already a riverbed where there are crocodiles and the land cannot be put to any other use. The corporation is committed to this project as the reptile is also under the Schedule-I list and has to be protected.
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