Mumbai: Citizens will get a clearer and closer view of the crocodiles at the Byculla zoo this summer with a new addition to its family. The construction of an underwater reptile viewing gallery is in its final stage and will be open to the public from the third week of April. It will also have a new set of crocodiles and ghariyals soon.
Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo, popularly known as Rani Baug, at present has five crocodiles and two ghariyals (which are fed with fish, buffalo meat and chicken). The zoo authorities have noticed that visitors spend a lot of time watching the reptiles. So the BMC has decided to increase the number of reptiles and also to construct a separate underground viewing gallery on an area of 4,200 square meter.
Rs20 crore for the construction of the viewing gallery
“The BMC had allocated Rs20 crore for the construction of the viewing gallery. The first viewing gallery will have an elevated platform through which visitors can watch the reptiles. It will also have another viewing gallery to provide an underwater view of the reptiles through a transparent glass window. An ozonation filter will be installed to keep the water clean," said a civic official.
Will be open for viewing by the third week of April
Dr Sanjay Tripathi, director of the zoo, said, “The exhibit will be open for viewing by the third week of April. It will have space for 10 crocodiles and ghariyals each. We are trying to bring more reptiles to the zoo. We have already approached a few zoo's at Ranchi, Patna, Solapur and Nandankanan zoo in Odisha.”
At present the average footfall in the zoo on weekdays is around 4,500 to 5,000, while on weekends it is 15,000. The zoo recorded a highest footfall of 32,820 visitors and generated a revenue of Rs13.78 lakh on January 1, 2023.
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