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18 Apr 2017

Safari park to get two more tigers & bears

TT, Siliguri, April 17: State tourism minister Gautam Deb today said two more royal Bengal tigers would be brought to the Bengal Safari Park near Siliguri, apart from other animals, to attract more visitors.
Deb had held a meeting with senior forest officers yesterday to discuss the release of more wild animals in the park.
"Recently, I had a meeting with the chief minister. She instructed me to develop the park by bringing in more wild animals. We will bring two more tigers to the park. Two Himalayan black bears will also be released in its enclosure," Deb said here.
"We are also trying to start a crocodile enclosure, increase the number of gharials and bring more wild cats to the park to make it more attractive for tourists and wild animal lovers," he added.
At present, there are two tigers at the park, located 10km from here and off NH31A.
The park was inaugurated by chief minister Mamata Banerjee in January this year.
"We have over 100 birds of different species in separate aviaries. Apart from tigers, there are five palm civets, five gharials, one-horn-rhino, deer and a number of soft shell turtles at the park now," an official of the forest department said.
The minister also spoke about Bhorer Alo, the mega tourism hub planned in Gazoldoba, located on the right bank of the Teesta and around 25km from here.
"We have received a detailed project report from a private group that will set up a resort at Gazoldoba. Two more private companies, which have taken plots on the site, will submit their project reports in a month. There is progress in the project and we intend to finish it in phases," he said.
Deb said the Northeast Frontier Railway authorities didn't allow NBSTC buses to be parked on the New Jalpaiguri station premises.
"The railways are not allowing NBSTC buses to enter the parking lots located in front of the station. It is causing huge inconveniences for passengers. Such non-cooperation from the railways is unexpected and I hope they will change the decision in the interest of thousands of tourists who visit north Bengal every year," Deb said.
Sources said the railways had asked the state government to help it in clearing encroachments over the railway land located close to the NJP station.
"The NBSTC has introduced a number of buses from NJP which connect tourist destinations in the hills and Dooars. But the railways have said with the buses being parked in front of the station, there is traffic congestion. In case the encroachments are cleared and the area outside the station is expended, it would help the railways as well as people moving through the station. That is why they have sought cooperation from the state," a source said.
In another development, sources in the state forest department today said they would set up check posts along NH-31 between Chalsa More and Lataguri to prevent vehicles' over- speeding. This stretch passes through the fringes of Gorumara National Park.

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