Kurumbapatti zoo expansion at Rs 8 cr: Minister

Speaking to reporters in Salem, Ramachandran said that Chief Minister MK Stalin has rolled out ‘Pasumai Tamil Nadu’ project to increase forest cover by 33 per cent in another 10 years in the state.
Minister K Ramachandran inspecting Kurumbapatti Zoological Park in Salem on Monday
Minister K Ramachandran inspecting Kurumbapatti Zoological Park in Salem on Monday

COIMBATORE: Forest Minister K Ramachandran on Monday said plans are afoot to plant 2.50 crore saplings across Tamil Nadu in the year 2022-23.

Speaking to reporters in Salem, Ramachandran said that Chief Minister MK Stalin has rolled out ‘Pasumai Tamil Nadu’ project to increase forest cover by 33 per cent in another 10 years in the state.

He also inspected the saplings being raised at the Forest Department’s nursery in Danishpet to be planted under the ‘Pasumai Tamil Nadu’ project.

Claiming that efforts have been taken to create emerald gardens (‘maragatha pooncholai’) in all districts across Tamil Nadu, Ramachandran said, “These gardens will be created in three places in each district to improve the area of forest cover. It will be developed in an area of one hectare in a village area.”

To attract more visitors to Kurumbapatti Zoological Park in Salem, Ramachandran said, it has been decided to bring large carnivores like tiger, leopard and sloth bears, besides wild deer and water birds to the zoo.

Currently, the zoo houses a total of 218 wildlife species, including fox, Nilgiri langur, spotted deer, monkeys, slender lorises, python, star tortoise and crocodile. As against 2.50 lakh people in 2019-20, the number of visitors to the zoo in 2020-21 came down to 87,000 due to COVID-19 impact. In 2021-22, 1.41 lakh visitors have arrived so far.

Ramachandran said the state government has sanctioned Rs 8 crore to expand the zoo to an area of 131.73 hectares.

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