Bhubaneswar: The Toy train, one of the major attractions of Nandankanan Zoological Park has started after seven years of halt.
Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha inaugurated the toy train at the State-level 67th Wildlife Week celebration held in Nandankanan Zoological Park on Friday.
The toy train has four bogies with a sitting capacity for 74 passengers. Of them, two seats have been reserved for differently-abled passengers. During the toy train ride on a one-and-half km track for 20 minutes, passengers will have a close look at Kanjia Lake and enclosures of carnivorous animals. The toy train project was set up at the cost of Rs 3.05 crore to attract more visitors to the zoo.
On this occasion, the Minister also laid the foundation stone of Ropeway for the entertainment of visitors and declared the names of the winners of the online quiz and photography competition.
In recognition of the outstanding contribution to wildlife protection and conservation, Arukha gave the State level award in the name of “Biju Patnaik Award 2021” to Nanda Kishore Bhujabal.
The Minister released the books published by State Wildlife headquarters “Wildlife Odisha-2021” and Hand Book on diseases of animals & birds.
In his address, Arukha highlighted the various schemes of the State Government for habitat improvement of wildlife and initiatives taken for the successful implementation of various schemes in community participation.
He also described the benefits of Nature Tourism managed by the forest fringe scheduled caste/ tribe people in their livelihood and the improvement of forest & wildlife in the area.
The Minister highlighted the benefits of ORSAC developed by Anukampa portal for the payment of compassionate grants to the victims for the life and property damage due to wildlife in the shortest time.
To prevent the entry of elephants in the crop field, the State Government has approved the programme Jana Suraksha Gaja Raksha in which the solar fencing will be done on the boundaries of the field, he said.
In addition to this, in the high conflict villages, fixation of solar powered street lights and engagement of Gajabandhu & Gajasathi selected by Van Suraksha Samittee will be implemented to prevent man animal conflict, he added.
MLA Jatani and Bhubaneswar (North) in their addresses emphasized on the balance of forest & environment and importance of community participation.
In the welcome address, Shashi Paul, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden, Odisha gave the objectives of the celebration and highlighted different initiatives taken by the State Government for the conservation and to increase the population of the wildlife.
In addition to this, Paul informed that to reduce the man animal conflict, the control rooms are working 24 hours at the division, circle and state headquarters level.
Lingaraj Otta, Special Secretary Forest & Environment highlighted the implementation of various programs and the roles of Eco Development Committee, Vana Sarankshana Samittee, Honorary Wildlife Warden and various NGOs for the conservation of wildlife.
At the last, Satyanarayan Beura, Conservator of Forests thanked the Chief Guest, all the distinguished guests, dignitaries and invitees.
This celebration was observed in all the forest divisions of Odisha from Gandhi Jayanti day 2-8 October 2021.