Gigantic Dinosaur Replica in Narmada (Screengrab)
A 30-feet-tall under construction dinosaur replica proposed to set up near the Statue of Unity in Gujarat's Narmada district was collapsed on Saturday, officials said without citing any reason for the incident. The Rs 2 crore huge dinosaur model, which took a month's time to be built, was part of the Gujarat government's plan to construct a world-class zoo in the region. While the mishap raised eyebrows over the viability of the project and its contractor, no injury or loss of property has been reported due to the same.
The much-hyped project, proposed by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani-led Gujarat government, aims at attracting a large number of tourists towards the state, and was scheduled to be completed by the end of October next year.
Apart from the dinosaur replica, a safari park, river rafting facilities and several other merriments were also in pipelines to give the zoo a complete look in Kevadiya. Also, Rupani has recently inaugurated the river rafting sport facility at Khalvani near the Statue of Unity, a major tourist attraction.
Talking about the proposed plan by the Rupani government, Rajiv Gupta, additional chief secretary and managing director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited last month said the zoo will be developed across 1,300 acres over seven levels and will have lions, tigers, leopards, 12 types of deer and antelopes, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, bisons, and other exotic animals.
"Setting up the Sardar Patel Zoological Park is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's wish to develop this region as a major tourism hub. He had expressed this while inaugurating the Statue of Unity last year," Gupta added.
The official said the Central Zoo Authority had given in-principle approval to the plan. He informed that 19 lakh tourists have so far visited the world's largest statue, a memorial to Sardar Patel, since it was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on October 31 last year. The monument, situated over 100 kilometres away from Vadodara, was conceptualised and inaugurated by then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in 2013.