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J&K on cusp of development with faster growth: LG

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Inaugurates Jambu Zoo at Nagrota; announces free entry for all for one month

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir is on the cusp of development, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said while dedicating Jambu Zoo here to the people on Monday.

“Spread over 70 hectares, this much-awaited addition to the tourist destinations of Jammu and Kashmir was taken up under a languishing project and it shall attract both residents and tourists visiting the Union Territory,” Sinha said during the inauguration event.

The foundation stone of the zoo was laid at Nagrota on the outskirts of the city along Jammu-Srinagar national highway in September 2016 with the aim to make it a major attraction for animal lovers and tourists.

The scenic beauty around the first-of-its-kind full-fledged zoo in the UT will make it a unique tourist destination and has the potential to boost tourism in the region, Sinha added.

Touted to be the largest in north India, the Jambu Zoo will house 27 species of animals including the Royal Bengal Tiger and Asiatic Lion. 

At the inaugural event, the LG spoke on the developmental journey of J&K and highlighted the efforts to develop better facilities for the locals as well as for the visiting tourists and improving the quality of living for all.

Sinha hailed the successful conduct of the G20 meet in Srinagar recently, adding that the event has helped the Union Territory enter a new era of opportunities. 

Jammu and Kashmir is at a cusp in its development trajectory, he added.

“We have broken fresh grounds to enable faster growth. We are now at a stage where we need to accelerate this growth, make it more inclusive and convert the UT’s potential into a reality,” the LG said.

“It is a rare moment and the world is applauding J&K’s saga of development. We must work together to keep pace with the rest of the states and contribute to the significant task of ‘Viksit Bharat 2047′,” he added.

The LG reiterated the commitment of J&K government to empower every section of the society, especially the youth in achieving the goals of sustainable and inclusive development.

Calling the youths the “architects” of the “new Jammu and Kashmir”, Sinha said, “We are seeing a steady rise in youth entrepreneurs, who are working with dedication to build a prosperous society and preserve our civilisational-cultural values and our commitment to peace.”

Within just one year, more than 82,000 business units have been established, providing 2.85 lakh youth with direct employment opportunities. Under Mission Youth, we have extended handholding to 70,000 young boys and girls to become self-reliant, said the LG.

He said under the Languishing Project, J&K UT has successfully completed 1500 projects which were pending for the last 10 to 20 years.

“Our cities are being transformed into smart cities and our villages are getting more integrated into the mainstream development. The basic infrastructure is being strengthened to realize the potential of every region,” the LG said.

He called upon the people to cooperate in the government’s endeavours to develop tourism and other infrastructure in the region, he said.

The LG also announced free entry for all in the Jambu Zoo for one month. He also announced that the Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams will be dedicated to the people on 8th June.

Bharat Bhushan, chairperson DDC Jammu and Jugal Kishore Sharma, Member Parliament also spoke on the occasion and expressed gratitude to the LG-led administration for dedicating the Jambu Zoo to the public and giving impetus to the development of the J&K UT.

Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary called for exploring all the possibilities to make Jambu Zoo one of the finest in India.

Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary, Forest Department and Suresh Kr. Gupta, PCCF/Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K, gave a detailed briefing on the key highlights of the Jambu Zoo.

Senior officials of civil administration and police, PRIs and ULB members and people in large numbers were present.


Jambu zoo to witness major expansion in coming years: Chief Wildlife Warden

Jammu, May 29 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Wildlife Warden Suresh K Gupta on Monday said the newly opened Jambu Zoo in the foothills of Shivalik would witness a major expansion in the coming years to become one of the largest wildlife parks in north India.

The first full-fledged zoo located in Nagrota area along Jammu-Srinagar national highway was dedicated to the public by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha earlier during the day and is tipped to be a major attraction for animal lovers and tourists.

The foundation stone of the project was laid in September 2016 and it missed several deadlines in the recent past.

“I cannot say that it is north India’s largest zoo but over a period of time it will be converted into one as we have 163 hectares of land available for its development. So far, we have been working on just 40 percent of the available land,” Gupta told reporters at the inaugural function.

He said Sinha has passed the directions for its further expansion and improvement which will be done in the coming years.

“We have large enclosures for the animals, unlike other places where the enclosures are close to each other. They are constructed in a way that the animals can feel as if they are in their natural habitat,” Gupta said, adding all the works undertaken inside the zoo were in accordance with the approval and latest guidelines of the central zoo authority.

He said the department is moving animals including leopards, black bears, a rare variety of small cats, and different kinds of deer species like Sambar, Chital, barking and hog deer and Nilgai.

“We have a very good variety of snakes and we will also start getting animals like lion, tiger, sloths and crocodiles from other zoos in the next two months,” Gupta said, assuring the visitors altogether a different kind of experience with parks, viewpoints, cafeteria, refreshment points, parking and trekking trails.

He said it will be a complete picnic spot besides serving as a centre for education and awareness about wildlife and biodiversity conservation.

Jammu Wildlife Warden Amit Sharma said the zoo will host several native and exotic animals in its 17 enclosures apart from having various public amenities.

“The work on the project started in 2016 under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) but the work was stopped due to non-availability of funds. Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation released the funds to complete the project at a cost of over Rs 62 crore,” Sharma said.

He said restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to the delay in the completion of the project.

Sharma said the other attraction for the visitors is the 650-metre zip line for adventure lovers, battery-operated vehicles and bicycles, making it a “big attraction” for people of all ages.

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