Hyderabad: The wait for the city’s first-ever night safari has just got longer. The project could not see any progress even after a special committee was formed to study its viability.
The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority says that the Singapore firm that visited the city for the project briefed government on the cost of the project after which it was put in cold storage. Officials said that the project involves clearances from the Centre. Work was also held up due to the prolonged period when the election code of conduct was in place.
Highly-placed sources in the HMDA said that the Kothwalguda site which had been earlier visited by Mr Bernard Harrison, principal partner (creativity and design), and Mr Alexandar Stingal, general manager (business operation) of Bernard Harisson & Friends Ltd., Singapore gave a positive report regarding the location.
The team promised to return to the site to submit rough estimates. Since September, all the functional agencies were paralysed due to back to back elections till May. With municipal elections on the anvil, officials expect any movement on the night safari only in August.
The HMDA has to appoint a committee to prepare budget estimates and another team to track the clearances required for the project from the Centre and state government.
A senior official said that the HMDA would form two teams comprising Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI) officials to conduct a baseline survey for impact assessment, check groundwater levels and air quality, forest department officials, urban biodiversity officials, engineering officials, tourism officials and others.
He said that one group will co-ordinate with the Singapore team and assist them by providing the required infrastructure and another would focus on budget preparing to knock at the doors of financial institution to fund the project and co-ordinate with the Centre for clearances.
The HMDA official said that preliminary cost estimates prepared during August was on par with the Hyderabad Metro Rail project. He hinted that it could be in the public-private partnership mode. Government would constitute a special purpose vehicle to fund the project. The official stressed that the HMDA had not called for any fresh tender to conduct the study and same agency will provide the designs for the project....