Genetic Park at Vandalur zoo to be inaugurated 16 Aug

Chennai: Work on the genetic tree park coming up on the Vandalur-Kelambakkam stretch-right behind the Arignar Anna Zoological Park -is nearing completion and will be opened to public use from 16 August.

Speaking to News Today, an official said the final works are happening Forests Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan will inaugurate the facility.

The current set up is spread across 20 acres and will house 1,500 trees. The entire cost of the park is estimated to be around Rs 1.85 crore.

“What makes this place all the more special is that we have not cut down the already present trees. Instead we have transplanted most of them with a success rate of about 70 per cent,” said an official.

Announcement regarding the park was made by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2016.

Work for the park began in August lat year and saplings were planted from September.

Elaborating on the features available in the park, the official said, “We will have the trademark waterfall setting at the entrance which will catch the attention of the visitors. What will catch the eye next is the artificial ‘U’ shaped island that we have created. This island will house the nursery and have water canals flowing on either side.”

The purpose of the water canal is to ensure that the water from the hills flows without any disturbance to the Nerkundram lake.

“We have constructed four check-dams in the canals which will help in storing excess water and will also recharge the groundwater table which will be used to water the trees,” the official added.

There is also an interpretation centre where visitors can get more details about the trees.

Talking about the varieties of saplings planted in the park, the official said there are trees from the western and eastern ghats. “A total of 1,500 trees from 300 species will be planted here. The trees will be kept in the order of the family that they belong to,” he informed.

The official further said the visitors will get a feeling of walking into a jungle once the trees are fully grown.

“We have constructed pathways covering the entire stretch and there are also concrete seats for visitors to relax. There are also two sheds constructed for families to spend time together. The saplings are watered using the drip irrigation method,” the official added.