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Consultants to develop the zoo to be appointed soon

Visakhapatnam: Around 22 companies are keen to provide consultation for the various developmental works at the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park including firms from foreign countries. The forest department has already invited expressions of interest (EOI) for the work and the consultant is to be appointed before August.

The forest department has been allotted Rs 120 crore funding from World Bank for developing the areas that were badly hit by cyclone Hudhud in October 2014. These include the zoo park, Kambalakonda sanctuary and casuarina plantations along the coast in East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts, sources said. Of this, the zoo has been allotted Rs 36 crore.

Additional principle conservator of forests N Prateep Kumar told TOI that they have already invited EOIs and would now shortlist six firms as per norms within a month. Once the list is finalised, it would be submitted to the World Bank authorities for further action. The work is likely to begin within three months.

The consultant would have to provide designs for amenities to visitors and animals, enclosures, day crawls, night houses, veterinary facilities and security services, he said. Once the developmental works are completed, the state government would start projects like night safari.

This would be the first time that World Bank would be directly involved in developing a zoo, sources said. The zoo park that spreads across more than 625 acres was badly damaged by cyclone Hudhud in October 2014. Of the 67 enclosures, 57 were damaged and 40% of the green cover lost.

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