Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Thursday, May 26, 2022

BMC awards Rs. 7Crore biodiversity contract for zoo to penalized firm








The BMC plans to spend over Rs 7 crore to set up a biodiversity facility on the first floor of the interpretation centre at Byculla zoo. This includes the biodiversity found at Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivli, flamingos spotted on the eastern seafront, and even that within the 53-acre zoo premises itself, such as the butterfly park and the Japanese garden, among others. The zoo is located in the heart of the city and boasts a Grade II heritage tag. Civic officials said visitors to the zoo will get an opportunity to see the city's biodiversity in one place.





On January 26, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated the 13-metre-high bird aviary site at the zoo. Apart from other enclosures for animals such as hyenas that were recently brought into the zoo, those for foxes, jackals, leopards and pond turtles were also inaugurated. A pair of tigers is expected to arrive on Wednesday. The work has been awarded to Highway Constructions—which had undertaken to build an enclosure for Humbodlt penguins. The contractor was penalized Rs 1.4 crore by the BMC after it was found that it had lied about a joint venture with a company with an expertise in the field of aquatic life support systems.





This is the second time after the controversy that the company has been awarded a work. In August 2019, the civic standing committee had given a green signal to appoint the same contractor for construction of 10 animal enclosures at the zoo at a cost of Rs 59 crore. A BMC official, though, said the company was never blacklisted and therefore no action was taken. Civic officials said there are plans to put up an exhibition first at the 11th World Wilderness Congress to be held in Jaipur in March. After the expo, the same display would be brought to the interpretation centre premises.   “There are plans to have a video wall, an education gallery and also a signage giving out information about the city’s rich biodiversity, which sometimes goes unoticed,” said a civic official. 





Highway construction was penalized in the Humboldt penguins case.





Source: The Times of India, 12 February 2020, Chennai.