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If CZA approves zoo layout, Himachal may soon get its first pair of tigers

The oldest zoo in Himachal Pradesh, Renuka Mini Zoo, situated within a wildlife sanctuary in Sirmaur district, is the proposed home for the tigers whom the National Zoological Park in New Delhi first agreed to transfer in November 2016.

By: Express News Service | Shimla |
September 12, 2020 9:55:39 pm
The tigress, aged 3-4 years, apparently died in a territorial clash with another tiger, possibly a male. (Representational Image)

Himachal Pradesh may get its first pair of tigers if the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) approves the enclosure design and master plan of a zoo in Renukaji, according to a reply by the state forest department in the Legislative Assembly session this week.

The oldest zoo in Himachal Pradesh, Renuka Mini Zoo, situated within a wildlife sanctuary in Sirmaur district, is the proposed home for the tigers whom the National Zoological Park in New Delhi first agreed to transfer in November 2016. However, due to the long delay in getting the required approvals from CZA, the matter will have to be taken up afresh with the zoo in Delhi.

Last year, the CZA approved the master layout plan of the mini zoo, following which the zoo’s master plan and the design of the proposed tiger enclosure were sent for approval, the reply said. It added that tigers will be brought to the zoo once the enclosure is built.

A wildlife official told The Indian Express that the pair of tigers initially selected for the transfer cannot be brought to Himachal now as they have “over-aged”, and so another pair may now have to be selected.

“Once the approvals are given, we will float tenders for the construction of the enclosure and once again take up the matter with the zoo authorities in Delhi,” said Chief Wildlife Warden Archana Sharma.

CCEA nod awaited for Renuka dam project

Another reply tabled in the Assembly this week said that “all formalities have been completed” for the construction of the 40-megawatt Renuka multi-purpose project which will be providing drinking water to Delhi and five other partner states besides generating electricity for Himachal. However, an approval by the central government’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs is still awaited, the reply said.

The Centre will provide nearly Rs 6,000 crore for the project’s expenses while the state government will spend around Rs 51 crore, the reply said. It added that the Himachal Power Corporation Limited has bought 417 bighas of land for resettlement of affected families. From among the 259 families which will be displaced, 127 familes have given their “option letters” under the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy while the remaining 132 families have not, said the answer by multi-purpose projects and power department.

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