Zoo, India’s 1st Night Safari planned at Akbarnagar – Lucknow after removing land mafia, intruders, Rohingyas, and Bangladeshis in ‘operation cleanup’, says Govt.

LUCKNOW, June 13 (The CONNECT) – Deploying bulldozers, the Yogi government continued its efforts on Thursday to revive the Kukrail River and clear the Akbarnagar area in Lucknow of land mafia and intruders.

The government’s bulldozer operated smoothly, accomplishing its task without any disturbances.

The Yogi government plans to transform this area into a hub of eco-tourism by demolishing illegal houses and commercial establishments built by land mafia, intruders, Rohingyas, and Bangladeshis.

There are also plans to relocate the Lucknow Zoo here while developing  the country’s first night safari in Kukrail.

The government has addressed the needs of displaced families, allotting houses to more than 1800 residents under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

Under the previous In SP government, land mafias carried out illegal constructions, endangering the existence of the Kukrail river, an official release said. The SP-backed land mafia illegally settled infiltrators, including Rohingyas and Bangladeshis, along the Kukrail river, turning the area into a hub of crime and delinquency, the Yogi government alleged.

Conspiracies were hatched to unleash anarchy and threaten state security in this locality. Moreover, environmental regulations were thrown to the winds, causing significant harm to the ecosystem, the government alleged.

CM Yogi, however, took the initiative to revive the Kukrail river and decided to turn it into a hub of eco-tourism by clearing the entire area of illegal encroachments ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The Yogi government also fought legal battles from the High Court to the Supreme Court. The courts supported CM Yogi’s decision and ordered the continuation of the demolition of illegal constructions in Akbarnagar.

Now that illegal construction along the Kukrail River in Rahimnagar, Akbarnagar, and Bhikhapur has ceased, the Yogi government plans to transform the Kukrail forest area into a prominent eco-tourism destination. The first night safari in the country is slated to be established here.

Permission has been obtained from the Central Zoo Authority in New Delhi for this project, which will cover an area of 855.07 acres. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) is currently being prepared for this initiative.

The night safari area will feature captivating themes such as the Indian walking trail, Indian foothill, Indian wetland, Arid India, and African wetland, serving as its primary attractions.

A total of 42 enclosures will house animals from 54 different species within the night safari. With a maximum capacity of 8000 visitors per night, tourists will embark on their journey through the park via a 5.5 km tramway and a 1.92 km pathway. Highlighting the experience will be captivating species including the Asiatic lion, alligators, Bengal tiger, flying squirrel, leopard, hyena, and more, ensuring an unforgettable adventure for all who visit the night safari.

Tributary of Gomti: According to the Lucknow Gazetteer published in 1904, Kukrail originates from the north of Asti village in Mahona and joins the Gomti river near Bhikhapur, just below the city. According to the Gazetteer, the water of Kukrail was famous for its purity.

Venkatesh Dutta, Professor of Environmental Science at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, said uninterrupted and clean Kukrail river is essential for the existence of Gomti.

He said that the Kukrail river, being a tributary of the Gomti, brings a large amount of water while passing through central Lucknow city. Before the construction of the embankment in 1962, the Kukrail river used to meet the Gomti downstream of the barrage (where the present Taj Hotel and Ambedkar Park are located).

But after the construction of the embankment, this part of the river got cut off from the mainstream of the river. The riparian buffer of Kukrail has suffered a lot due to dams, drains and unplanned urbanization and it needs to be restored as far as possible.