THE Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan, also known as the Byculla Zoo, will soon get seven new enclosures. After scrapping tenders twice, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally appointed a contractor to build the enclosures.
These seven new enclosures will house animals such as Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, sloth bear, wolf, jackal and swamp deer. The contract to build these seven enclosures has been awarded to Skyway constructions. After scrapping the previous contract, the BMC had issued two tenders worth Rs 120 crore, which had attracted responses from four contractors last year. As part of the new tenders, one contractor will be responsible for constructing 10 enclosures worth Rs 63 crore, while the other will have to make seven worth Rs 57 crore.
Four years after the Central Zoo Authority approved a revised masterplan for revamping the zoo, the project ran into a roadblock in May, when several contractors were disqualified on grounds of incomplete documents provided to BMC. A senior official said, “While construction work on the enclosures is on, we are working on procuring the animals.”
The official added, “The approval of tenders was delayed as we wanted to verify the credentials of the bidders and check the documents they had submitted before awarding the contracts.” According to sources, work on the enclosures is likely to begin after February. According to zoo authorities, the new animals would be sourced through exchange programmes with other zoos. Dr Sanjay Tripathi, director, Byculla Zoo, said,
“We had received a great response for the tenders, which we will table before the standing committee soon. We
are hoping to complete the project within 18 months of its commencement.”