Bhubaneswar: If everything goes the right way, Odisha will have state’s first night safari along the lush-green forest cover close to Nandakanan zoological park on the outskirts of the city.
The objective is to provide the tourists and visitors the breathtaking and exciting opportunity to catch glimpse of wildlife following the sunset. The project of this nature will provide ample global exposure to Odisha’s rich flora and fauna. Tourism sector will also reap immense benefit from the ambitious project, the Minister for Forest and Environment, Bijayshree Routray told this web portal.
Steps in this regard have already been initiated. The Nandankanan Zoological Park and Chandaka wildlife sanctuary authorities were consulted before embarking upon such an ambitious project, he said.
The state’s capital city is a hot-spot for tourists for its architectural heritage spots besides the zoological park and Chandaka sanctuary. The night safari will be an added attraction to city’s tourists' map.
Six Square kilometre stretch in Chudanga forest lying on the rear part of the famous zoological park has been earmarked to be developed for the proposed night safari project. The Nandankanan zoological park authorities have been asked to prepare detailed project report (DPR). The DPR would later be sent to union ministry for environment and forest for mandatory clearance, the minister told this portal.
A forest official however said “apart from the MoEF clearance, the project is poised to encounter hurdles in the form roads traversing in a particular patch of the earmarked site. Besides another stumbling block on the project is the inhabitation of 70 tribal families on the fringes of the Chudanga forest. As they have been provided the right to settlement under Forest Rights Act (FRA), their relocation would give rise to legal hurdles”.
The proposed night safari project area is a virtual treasure-trove of flora, fauna and biodiversity. Apart from elephants, it is also home to a number of threatened wild animals and birds. The Langur, the macaque, three deer (spotted deer, barking deer, and mouse deer), wild pig, porcupine and hare, Panther, sloth bear, hyena, wolf, fox, jackal, mongoose(common, small, ruddy). Civets (small, palm), tree shrew and Pangolins are abundantly spotted in this human-interference-free wildlife zone.