The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved the proposal for a night safari park in Lucknow district’s Kukrail forest area. As part of the project, the government will establish a zoological park on around 150 acres and night safari on 350 acres without disturbing the dense 2,027-hectare forest in the forest area’s eastern and western blocks.
Tourism Minister Jaiveer Singh said the new zoological garden in Lucknow would replace the existing one. He called the plan an “ambitious project” and said the government would hire a consultant to conduct a survey and cost assessment.
He said the proposal included the constitution of an empowered committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to tackle issues. The committee will include the Principal Secretary/Additional Chief Secretary, officials from the Environment, Forest and Climate Change/Public Works/Finance /Irrigation and Water Resources departments, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Department, and the Lucknow District Magistrate as members.
The minister also said the necessary permissions according to the rules and guidelines of the International Advisory and Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi, would be required regarding the Kukrail Night Safari alongside the preparation of a master plan and master layout, and selection of an executing agency in a time-bound manner.
The Uttar Pradesh government has already identified 56 ecotourism sites in the state’s 56 districts under its One District, One Destination scheme in an attempt to boost ecotourism and increase employment opportunities.
The government will identify a destination in every district that can be branded as an ecotourism spot in an attempt to attract nature enthusiasts. The Forest Department is identifying potential areas to be developed under the scheme to integrate these sites with tourism.
Uttar Pradesh already has several ecotourism spots, but it is more popular for the tiger reserves, wetlands, and wildlife sanctuaries. The Katarniya Ghat Wildlife Sanctuary in the Upper Gangetic plain in Bahraich boasts tigers and a mosaic of teak and sal woods. The Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural habitat of barasingha (swamp deer).
The Majhauli Sagar of Siddharthnagar, Ghoomar Tal of Jaunpur, and Badela Tal of Azamgarh will also get special recognition as ecotourism destinations.