Jammu, Sep 21 Around 70 percent of work on 'Jambu' zoo here has been completed and authorities are mulling to throw it open to public soon, officials said on Wednesday.
Touted to be biggest in north India, the zoo, located at Khanpur Nagrota in the city, will house 27 famous species of animals including Royal Bengal tiger and Asiatic lion. It will also have a nocturnal animal house and a butterfly park.
The zoo has missed several deadlines since it was conceptualised in 2016.
Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta, who visited the under-construction Jambo zoo, issued directions for development and blacktopping of internal roads so that the completed part of the zoo could be thrown open for the general public as soon as possible, the officials said.
Chief Wildlife Warden Suresh Kumar said that 70 percent of the work on the project, spread on an area of 163.40 hectares, has been completed.
The zoo project was grounded due to financial crunch and work resumed in 2019 for its completion and now it is back on track, the officials said.
Jambo zoo, named after the founder of the city King Jambu Lochan, will have an artificial waterfall and will house 27 famous species of animals, including the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Asiatic Lion, leopards, bears, crocodiles, ghadiyals and sambar deer, the officials said.
It will also have reptile chambers hosting the poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, they said.
The zoo will also have an open amusement theatre and a park for children.
"The zoo will have battery-operated cars and bicycles for the visitors to move around. The facility would be a major attraction for tourists coming to the city," an official said.
The project is spread over 625 acres of land and will have facilities like tourist information centres, large parking spaces, cafeterias, restrooms, the officials said.
They said the main objective is to promote international eco-tourism, research and education on wildlife conservation, animal rehabilitation and mitigation of man-animal conflicts.
The Jambu zoo project was approved by the authorities at a cost of Rs 121 crore. The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA) had approved the concept plan for establishing "Jambu" in 2016.
Responding to the issue of water supply to the zoo, the chief secretary asked the officers concerned to take up the matter with the Jal Shakti department and ensure completion of work on dugwells at the earliest.