A 25-acre plot in Powai has been allotted by the civic corporation to house the huge bird and reptile population.
The overcrowding of birds in Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan Zoo has prompted officials to revive the plan to start a bird park in Powai. They have issued tenders inviting Expression of Interest (EOI) from various national and international consultants for the master plan.
The zoo has 355 birds of 31 species. These include exotic species like the Japanese Crane, Military Macaw and the African Parrot.
The park will be an extension of the Byculla zoo and will house its huge bird and reptile population. A total of 25 acres of land in Powai’s Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Udyan has been allotted for the bird park by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the owner of the property.
The Powai site was chosen due to its dense tree coverage and moderately hilly landscape that would be suitable for a bird park. The aviary enclosure is meant to decongest the old zoo and also provide eco-tourism opportunities to locals staying in the northern and eastern part of Mumbai, says the MCGM tender.
“The project is still in the preliminary stage so we can’t say how long it will take to take shape. But we do plan to shift some of our birds and reptiles there and also add some new exotic species,” said Dr Sanjay Tripathi, deputy superintendent of the zoo and head veterinarian.
The bird park is a replacement for the initial plan of constructing an avian walk-through in the existing zoo, which was scrapped.
The consultant, who bags the contract, will be required to designate a Project Management Consultant (PMC) who will then develop a 20-year master plan for the bird park and will be responsible for getting it approved within four months of submission to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA).
The Byculla zoo renovation plan is still stuck in the first phase of heritage restoration while the new enclosure designs have been submitted to the CZA for approval. “As soon as the final master plan is approved, tenders will be issued. We are hoping to acquire approvals within the next few months,” Tripathi added.