05 October, 2018
District collector Rajesh Narvekar has assured citizens that the first-of-its-kind biodiversity park at Saket will be thrown open by January 2019.
In February 2016, the social forestry department, in alliance with the then collector Ashwini Joshi, initiated the five-phased biodiversity project in order to beautify the 5.26 hectare dumping area along the Thane creek and replace it with a recreation and environmental education space for Thane citizens.
While the five phases of the project included five different sections of attractions, including cactus and butterfly gardens, bamboo plantations, mangrove walkways, botanical and medicinal plant center and nursery, nakshatravan and so on, the first phase was to be completed and inaugurated in August 2016, the rest would be taken up thereafter.
While a major chunk of this work was completed in the first few months itself, the inauguration of the project faced multiple delays due to various reasons.
“The plantation of the various sapling species was carried out in the monsoon of 2016. However, basic facilities, including the toilet block, administration office, seating arrangements, NIC office work, which had been entrusted to the public works department in March 2016 required more time,” said a forest official.
“The monsoon delayed a lot of the work, this delay added new costs and complications, and then finding a suitable date for the inauguration added to this issue. To add to it all, we had to change the boundary of the park to make way for the upcoming flyover in the area,” he added.
As the grand opening of this unique ecological hub has already been postponed for a long time, district collector Narvekar announced that once the park is inaugurated in January 2019, citizens will be able to access all the five phases.
“Most of the facilities and crucial elements of this Late Uttam Rao Patil Biodiversity Park have been put in place. We still have some final finishing touches to add to it to ensure visitors get a holistic picture and complete knowledge about the plant species as well as National Environmental Engineering Research Institute’s (NEERI) water purification process. We are working on finishing these nitty-gritties by January, after which all the five phases will be thrown open to the public,” he said.
Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com