THANJAVUR: Children will not have the delight of looking at Deer and other wild animals in Sivaganga park here when it is opened after renovation. The park is reconstructed under smart city programme. As the licence to keep wildlife in the garden came to an end in December 2018 and as forest department felt that keeping wildlife in the park is not conducive hereafter, deer in the park are being shifted to wild life sanctuary at Point Calimere (Kodaiakarai) in Nagapattinam district.
On Monday thirty deer-29 female and one male were packed in a special vehicle designed to transport them to Kodiakrai. According to city corporation officials, next batch of eleven deer-eight male and three female will be sent on Wednesday. "It is not easy to transport them. The vehicle itself had a forest appearance inside and the animals were trained to board the vehicle before they were taken on Monday" said forest department officials who oversee the operation. "We have given a gap of one-day and on Wednesday we will shift the next batch of deer," said the officials. Nine rabbits have also been shifted.
Sivaganga park, the main tourist attraction, particularly for school children, had a mini zoo with animals like fox, rabbits, deer and even camel. A proposal to improve the zoo and add more animals was sent to the Forest department and permission was also got in the past.
But now a zoo has become a thing of the past and the park will have only amusement facilities for children hereafter. Thanjavur city corporation has taken up renovation of Sivaganga park and tank under Area Based Development (ABD) under Smart city programme of Thanjavur.
Renovation is done at a cost of Rs 8.10 crore. The park was shut for tourists during this year summer as city corporation has taken up the work.
As the park and tank are located within the UNESCO monument complex, namely Sivaganga Little Fort, entire improvements will be done considering the heritage value of the park and and without disturbing the heritage monuments available, officials clarified. Improvements are done as per norms of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) , they added.
"It is going to be a complete renovation with improvements to be done to infrastructure, lighting, constructing and maintaining kiosks, improvement to the entrance of the park, greenery, park furniture, musical water fountains, children play equipment and renewal of the toy train which was running inside the park," officials said.