Jungle safari, aviary near Statue of Unity reopen for tourists

Jungle safari, aviary near Statue of Unity reopen for tourists

A month after it was closed as a precautionary measure during the outbreak of Avian influenza in February, the Geodesic dome aviary at the Sardar Patel Zoological Park and jungle safari near Statue of Unity in Kevadia in Narmada district have reopened for visitors.

The management of Statue of Unity, which has decided to remain open to tourists on March 29 — which is the regular day off for the tourist spot — will also keep all 31 attractions open for Holi.

The aviary, which was closed in February, is home to about 1,100 birds. There are two aviaries constructed as geodesic domes and is reportedly one of the largest in the world. While the Indian Aviary is 150-metre long, 50-metre wide, and 15-metre high, the exotic aviary is 125-metre long, 35-metre wide and 18-metre high. The aviary and the safari park will remain open for tourists even as zoos and gardens across major cities in the state have been closed down to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the jungle safari park also welcomed two new members, an African hippopotamus and a black panther.

On the other hand, the Narmada district collector has renewed the notification under Section 144 of CrPC which prohibits assembly of more than three persons. It has been in force in the entire district since the lockdown began in March last year. Resident Additional Collector HK Vyas told The Indian Express, “The notification is renewed every month due to ongoing Covid-19 guidelines. It applies to the entire district and also to Kevadia. The Statue of Unity, too, is following Covid-19 guidelines and maintaining social distancing which is why it is not a violation of the notification even if there are tourists visiting the place.”

Six employees of various eateries in the food court of the Statue of Unity had tested positive this week, causing a concern locally. The management says that it is enforcing Covid-19 protocols strictly and persons with tickets to the viewing gallery of the statue are only allowed to enter during the slots they have booked.

Meanwhile, the district administration has also started screening vehicles entering the district via the Maharashtra border at Dhanresha village in Sagbara taluka. People who are carrying negative RT-PCR reports, tests for which have been done in the last 72 hours, are being allowed to enter.

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