Coming soon: Nature Park-cum-Interpretation Centre at Haddo

Rs 3.5 crore *Completion by April 2019 *Butterfly Conservatory *Aquarium *Gymnasium *Yoga Centre *Auditorium *Nature Trail
Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
8 Nov 2018

Just “walk it off”, is what most people say to cool others down. The coming months are sure to hit you with soaring temperatures. To beat the heat, think about merging with nature or simply traversing a plantation consisting of diverse flora! A sumptuous meal at a cafeteria located within, fitness centre besides witnessing several species of butterflies discovered in this archipelago. In a first, the Department of Environment and Forest is all set to come up with a new Nature Park-cum-Interpretation Centre at Haddo in the city soon.
Being built at a cost of around Rs 3.5 crore, the ace project of the Department of Environment and Forest is expected to be complete by March or April next year. The Nature Park-cum-Interpretation Centre will consist of a Butterfly Conservatory that will house a several species of butterflies found in these islands. A garden of flowers, plantation of different fruit bearing plants, nature trail, aquatic plants etc will also be part of the Centre being developed at the current Mini Zoo at Haddo. Besides, the Nature Park-cum-Interpretation Centre will also have a Gymnasium, Yoga Centre, Auditorium, Aquarium, Dog Kennel, Musical Fountain, Cafeteria etc in the sprawling premises.
“You can’t take every person particularly tourists to the dense forests here to show them the rich biodiversity of this archipelago. The Nature Park-cum-Interpretation Centre being developed at Haddo is an effort to showcase that to the extent possible right in the heart of the city. It is being meticulously developed and will enable tourists learn about the rich ecosystem of these islands without having to travel extensively. The Centre will have its first of its kind Butterfly Conservatory that will be home to several hundreds of butterfly species discovered from these islands.
Besides, there will be an aquarium, plantation of fruit and flower bearing plants containing all information about their different genus. For locals, the Centre, expected to be complete by April next year, will serve as an Entertainment Centre consisting of a Gymnasium, Yoga Centre, Cafeteria, an auditorium and many more,” informed Mr Naveen Kumar P, DCF (Wildlife).
Since 2002, the Department of Environment and Forests has been working on its plans to shift the Mini Zoo to Chidiya Tapu Biological Park in South Andaman, which came into existence in 2001 with the aim to conserve and study endemic and endangered species of animals found in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The Mini Zoo at Haddo presently houses just one salt water crocodile infamous for killing at foreigner at Havelock and one huge Python.
The Chidiyatapu park has been a centre for biodiversity and conservation where one can catch a glimpse of the rich fauna of the islands. The plan for the park has been meticulously laid out to span over 20 years and three phases, of which only one phase is currently open to public. A green and dense jungle like environment recreates the natural habitat of the animals here. Sprawled over 40 hectares, the park is covered with a variety of plant, right from the majestic Mahuas to the exquisite Padauks. While walking through this jungle, one would be able to catch a glimpse of a variety of birds flying around freely. Other than birds you could spot wild pigs as well as barking deer and spotted deer. Those fascinated with reptiles would enjoy the saltwater crocodile spotting. The future phases will see the park housing an aquarium, an insectarium, a reptile house, butterfly house and a walk in Aviary.