HMDA Shelves Hyderabad's Ambitious Night Safari Project

15 Jun, 2021 16:36 IST|Sakshi Post

Hyderabad's grandiose first night safari project has been shelved by the HMDA.

Environmental issues and threats to birds and animals were highlighted by a Singapore consultant.

According to sources, the project will cost the same as the Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL).

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has cancelled a plan to create the city's first night safari project due to a lack of practicality. A Singapore-based expert argued, according to officials, that once implemented, the project would not only face significant obstacles but also put the safety of animals in jeopardy.

Following the cancellation of the project, the authorities are currently looking into the possibility of establishing an eco-park on 120 acres in Kothwalguda.

According to HMDA sources, the Kothwalguda site, which was previously visited by Bernard Harrison, principal partner (creativity and design) of Bernard Harrison and Friends Ltd., Singapore, and Alexander Stingal, general manager (business operation), gave a positive report and claimed that it would be an ideal location for the night safari.

The crew returned to the site to provide approximate estimations. However, after evaluating the site, the consultant advised HMDA that, in addition to erecting sophisticated buildings, they would face significant obstacles in providing a sustainable environment for over 150 species if the plan were to be implemented. According to sources, the project will cost the same as the Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL).

The Singapore specialists had provided a positive answer in 2018 and had guaranteed that they would be ready with the designs during their 2019 visit, according to a top HMDA official who spoke on condition of anonymity to a leading newspaper.

Officials from the Environment Protection Training & Research Institute (EPTRI), forest department officials, urban biodiversity officials, engineering officials, tourism officials, and others, he said, had formed two teams to conduct a baseline survey for impact assessment, to check groundwater levels and air quality, and to conduct a baseline survey for impact assessment, to check groundwater levels and air quality.

He explained that one team interacted with the Singapore delegation to assist them with infrastructure, while another focused on budget needs in order to tap financial institutions for project finance.

Apart from that, the official stated that the second team had also communicated with the Union government in order to obtain approval for the proposed night safari. According to the officials, after completing the full research in 2020, the experts concluded that the topography of Kothwalguda would not be appropriate for the building of a night safari due to environmental concerns.

The HMDA official stated that the municipal body had opted to cancel the project due to budgetary concerns, among other things. He stated that the administration was seriously studying the plan to build an eco-park on 120 acres and that a meeting would be convened soon.

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