Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022 | Last Update : 10:59 PM IST

  Uddhav Thackeray had proposed world-class aviary in 2009

Uddhav Thackeray had proposed world-class aviary in 2009

Published : Oct 26, 2016, 1:29 am IST
Updated : Oct 26, 2016, 1:29 am IST

The BMC plans to first let people view the penguins in small numbers to assess how the birds react to such interactions.

The BMC plans to first let people view the penguins in small numbers to assess how the birds react to such interactions.

Amidst the political mudslinging over death of a penguin at Byculla zoo comes news that if Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray could have had his way, Powai would have been home to a large aviary housing over eight to nine exotic bird species, including penguins. In fact, the civic body was even ready to spend Rs 200 crore for the project.

The original proposal to bring exotic avian species to Mumbai was mooted in 2009 under Uddhav’s insistence. The plan involved not just penguins but eight to nine exotic bird species from several continents. As the BMC did not get necessary clearances from the Central Zoo Authority and Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee to open a bird sanctuary at Byculla zoo, a heritage precinct, it was decided to shift the aviary to Powai. In fact, the civic body, under Uddhav’s guidance, planned to set up an aviary on the lines of Singapore’s Jurong Park which houses around 5,000 birds belonging to 380 species, brought there from across the globe.

Aseem Gupta, the then additional municipal commissioner under whose tenure the proposal was introduced and widely debated in the BMC, told The

Asian Age, “Uddhav loves animals and he loves photography. For these reasons, he really pushed for the project. It was his brainchild. It was a brilliant proposal, with an estimated cost well above `200 crore. Now, only a part of the project is working out.”

Back then, preparations were made to house the exotic birds at Byculla zoo even before the proposal was passed in BMC however the zoo being a heritage precinct, not many changes could be made to it and the proposal to build the aviary kept running into roadblocks.