Jhapa, December 18
Masterplan for the proposed project of an open-zoo to be developed by appropriating the national forest area in Jhapa’s Haldibari Rural Municipality has been prepared.
The rural municipality that lies in the southern belt of the district has a huge expanse of national forest, around 7,000 hectare, currently being managed by local communities.
According to Haldibari Rural Municipality Chair Rabindra Lingden, they have sought a fund from the provincial and central governments to develop the existing forest into an attractive tourism destination, tipped to be the best in the entire district and the country, once actualised.
“We are planning to utilise the forest as a better source of income for locals by developing it into an open zoo where visitors can observe wildlife in their natural habitat,” he said, calling for everyone’s help to materialise the ambitious project.
“This is a huge project and obviously beyond what we can take on ourselves as it costs more than a billion rupees, but isn’t impossible if the provincial and the central governments are ready to help us,” said Lingden.
“The forest has abundant biological diversity, so it will be an ideal place for those wanting to do research on flora and fauna found here or those wanting to observe animals in the wild,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on December 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.