KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided that the Karachi zoo will be redesigned on the model of the Singapore zoo. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah visited the zoo on Wednesday to see its condition. Chairing a meeting of the team members involved in the planning and redesign project on Thursday, he gave the go ahead for the project.
He was briefed by design director Zain Mustafa and MPA Samar Ali Khan, who is an architect, and a proposal was put forward to dismantle the cages and develop larger enclosures. The CM said he wanted the enclosures to have natural habitats and an animal-centric environment. "It must be climate/season responsive, flexible for animals to interact and manipulate their spaces," he stressed.
The architect told the chief minister that the innovative enclosure design is based on research from the design of 10 international zoos.
The CM was told that the material to be selected for the enclosures would be designed for low maintenance, sustainability and to be animal-friendly. The ground soil would also be changed as per needs of the animals. Apart from this, there would be movable animal furniture, hiding dens, raised platforms, climbing structures and perching surfaces, Khan told the CM.
There would also be concealed spaces for animals to retire in and rear access for veterinary care. Shah directed the team to install closed-circuit television cameras in all the enclosures and around the zoo for monitoring purposes.
The CM was told that there would be topographical survey and environmental assessment study of the zoo area before the project begins, for which Shah directed the project director of the Karachi package to facilitate the team so that the survey and assessment can be completed as soon as possible.
He directed the mayor to also plan the upgrade of Safari Park so that it could be taken up next financial year.
CM House spokesperson said the reconstruction work will be started within a month and is likely to be completed by June. "Initially, Rs300 million has been earmarked for this project and the CM has assured that the Sindh government can give more funds to this project," he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2017.