CZA sends a notice to BMC over selfie points, ice-cream shop in zoo in Mumbai

The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has sent a notice to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) over construction of “selfie points” and an ice-cream shop inside the VeermataJijabaiBhosleUdyan, popularly known as Byculla Zoo. The CZA has sought a “factual status report” from the civic body at the earliest.

The notice comes after the Plant & Animals Welfare Society (PAWS), Mumbai, an NGO working for animal welfare and environment protection, wrote to the CZA, drawing its attention to the construction of selfie points and an ice-cream shop inside the zoo.

The complaint says that on one hand the birds and animals live in pathetic condition and on the other man-made structures are constructed near the enclosures which disturbs their habitats. It added that an ice-cream shop has been constructed opposite the hippopotamus’ enclosure that not only creates noise and ruckus but also unhygienic conditions near the animal enclosures due to strewing of food and packaging waste.

Following the complaint, the CZA has sought a report from the zoo authorities.

Dr BrijKishor Gupta, evaluation and monitoring officer of CZA, to Byculla Zoo said the CZA would examine if the structures are part of the approved master plan of the zoo revamp.

The zoo authorities have said that the selfie point does not affect the natural habitat of animals nor disturbs them. They said that these things are not part of the zoo’s master plan but they are part of garden development plan.

PAWS has said that the city needs a zoo with animals, birds and reptiles in artificial environment. Last year, a controversy had erupted following the death of a one-and-a-half-year-old female penguin in the zoo on October 23 after a brief illness.

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© 2015 by NGO Aid India.

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