Wednesday, Aug 21, 2002
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By T. Lalith Singh
The committee comprising the Finance Minister, Y.Ramakrishnudu, Tourism Minister, T.Srinivas Yadav and Forest Minister, Ch.Ayyanna Patrudu, will consider for approval a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Andhra Pradesh Forest Development Corporation (APFDC) and the city-based De Laraa Estates Limited. The MoU, singed recently as a `Design Build Finance Operate' (DBFO) model, will have De Laraa investing Rs. 21.39 crores for developing various botanical sectors and species apart from visitor amenities in the 120-acre garden.
The Botanical Garden presently has five sectors and another 15 sectors including medicinal, ornamental, aromatic and zodiac plant sectors are to be developed. The amenities planned include stay facilities in the Live-in Nature sector, underwater wonders, water fountains, herbal health cure, amphitheatre, joggers bund, eco-club for nature lovers with fitness centre and children's park.
According to Director, Eco-Tourism, S.Bala Krishna, efforts are on to identify, collect and grow some 5,000 different species of plants in different sectors of the sprawling garden. "Our experts will travel across the country to procure these species,'' he said. In the last one year, the Botanical Garden with its five existing sectors has become a major draw for nature lovers and also for film shootings, generating a revenue of about Rs. 1 lakh per month.
The aquatic pond which went dry during summer has been deepened further.
"It was only one feet deep and now we have made it more than three feet to ensure that it doesn't go dry again,'' said Mr.Bala Krishna. The pond has now been improved at three levels with plans to grow aquatic plants at these levels.
Meanwhile, the APFDC has entered into an MoU with Trac India for developing a Night Safari Park alongside the Hyderabad Botanical Gardens and sent the Rs.60 crore proposal to the Central Zoo Authority.
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