Nature Interpretation Centre to showcase biodiversity of Hills at Bengal Safari Park
Darjeeling: A Nature Interpretation Centre (NIC) was inaugurated on Tuesday at Bengal Safari Park near Siliguri. Along with the NIC, a host of new projects were announced for the Park as well.
Apart from Forest minister Binay Krishna Barman and Tourism minister Goutam Deb, North Bengal Development minister Rabindranath Ghosh was also present at the inauguration event.
The Bengal Safari Park is a dream project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, located 10 km away from Siliguri. The park was inaugurated in 2017 by Banerjee.
"We have plans of upgrading the amenities of the park. We are already in the process of preparing a Detailed Project Report for a toy train inside the safari park. The cost of the project will be around Rs 1 crore," said state Forest minister Binay Krishna Barman. The train will be battery-operated without rails and will have vista dome bogies. The projects at the safari park are being done jointly by the Tourism, Forest and North Bengal Development departments. A Breakpoint Watchtower is also coming up at a cost of Rs 23 lakh.
"Visitors who take the safari rides will have a 15 minute break at the watchtower. There will be a cafeteria inside the watchtower as well. Visitors can enjoy coffee, snacks and the scenery from the watchtower," said state Tourism minister Goutam Deb.
There are plans to release more rhinoceros inside the park. "The park can accommodate 5 rhinoceros and at present there is only one. We are talking to the PCCF (Wildlife) for the release of more rhinos here," added Barman.
There are 2 elephants in the elephant safari. The Forest minister stated that two more would be brought in. Talks are on for getting bisons as well. "First we will recruit forest guards. We have sanction for 10 guards," added Barman.
Spread across 208 acres, the park offers leopard, Asiatic black bear, tiger, herbivore and elephant safaris. The NIC will showcase the diverse flora and fauna of the region, along with 7 tribal communities residing in North Bengal through a light and sound show.
"Entry to the NIC will be absolutely free. We want tourists along with students to see the rich biodiversity of this region," added Barman.