Haryana will develop a curated jungle safari park — largest outside of Africa — spread over 10,000-acres in the Aravalli range, covering parts of Gurugram and Nuh districts, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Thursday said.
“It will be the largest such project in the world. Currently, the largest curated safari park outside Africa is in Sharjah and covers an area of about 2,000 acres. The proposed Aravalli park would be five times more this size,” Khattar said.
He said the safari would include a large herpetarium (a zoological exhibition space for reptiles and amphibians), aviary/bird park, four zones for big cats, a large area for herbivores, an area for exotic animal birds, an underwater world, nature trails, visitors, tourism zones, botanical gardens, biomes, equatorial, tropical, coastal, and desert areas.
Khattar was speaking after returning from Dubai where he and Union Minister for Forest, Environment and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav visited the Sharjah Safari.
Khattar said the NCR region of Haryana had immense potential for the development of a jungle safari, which will not only boost tourism but also provide employment opportunities to local residents.
“It will be a joint project of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Haryana government. Under the scheme, the central government will also provide funds to Haryana for the project,” said Khattar.
A global Expression of Interest was floated for the project and two companies with international experience in designing and operating such facilities have been shortlisted, the CM added.
“The companies will now compete in an international design competition for the designing, overseeing and operating of the park. An Aravalli Foundation will be set up to manage the project,” said Khattar.
The CM added that the Central Zoo Authority had done an evaluation study of the area and agreed on the technical feasibility of setting up such a park.
On one hand, developing a jungle safari will help preserve the Aravalli mountain range while a large number of people from Delhi and adjoining areas will come for tourism, creating ample employment opportunities for local residents, he said. “Furthermore, villagers in the surrounding villages will be benefited from the Home Stay Policy,” said the chief minister.
The Aravalli mountain range is home to many species of birds, wild animals and butterflies.
According to a Haryana government statement, as per a survey conducted a few years ago, 180 species of birds, 15 species of mammals, 29 species of aquatic animals and reptiles and 57 species of butterflies were found in the Aravalli range.