Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy has directed the officials of the Forest Department to prepare necessary plans for further development of the zoological parks across the State.
At a review meeting with the Forest Department officials on Wednesday, the minister said that Tirupati and Visakhapatnam zoo parks should be developed to attract more visitors. He said that steps should be taken to bring more animals here from other zoos across the country.
The minister told the officials to work on the system of exchanging animals with other zoos. It was also suggested that the animals in the private zoo in Jam Nagar could be collected through exchange or purchase. The officials were ordered to prepare DPRs and bring them into effect within the stipulated time.
The minister added that the number of visitors to the zoo park could be increased by establishing a MEMU train from Kapilatheertham to the zoo in Tirupati. The officials may seek support from the CSR funds of various industries.
He also directed the officials to prepare proposals for white tiger safari in Tirupati Zoo Park. The minister said that through the research centres in Tirupati and Rajamahendravaram, high-yielding timber and good quality plants should be developed.
Through Biotrim in Tirupati, research should be done on red sandalwood and high-quality plants should be made available to the farmers. The demand for red sandalwood from farmers was high and private nurseries were selling plants at higher prices. Steps should be taken to provide red sandalwood plants at an affordable price through the Forest Department nurseries.
Also, plants like bamboo, cashew, black plum, amla, tamarind and eucalyptus were being provided through nurseries. The minister suggested that they develop more superior quality plants.
Reddy said that after the bifurcation of the State, Andhra Pradesh had to set up an academy for the training of new Forest officers. “Through this academy, the professional skills of the Forest Department staff should be improved. Necessary support will be provided to the academy,” he said.
He further said that measures were being taken by the Biodiversity Board to protect the rare and endangered species of flora and fauna in the State. Special arrangements were being made for the cultivation of rare plants in the city parks being established across the State. The Board officials were directed to take all measures for the conservation of biodiversity in coordination with the Forest Department.
Special Chief Secretary (ESF&T) Nirab Kumar Prasad, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Y Madhusudan Reddy, Chairman of AP Biodiversity Board Dr BMK Reddy, ESF&T Special Secretary Chalapathi Rao, Wildlife Division Additional PCPF Shantipriya Pandey, Additional PCCF (Vigilance) Gopinath, PCCF- Production & Admin RP Khajuria and others were present.