Apropos news dated 18 May 2019 stating, “Jamboo Zoo Project is likely to meet the ‘pre-mature death’ because no interest has been shown to this dream project by those at the helms of affairs in the state forest dept and in the Governor’s administration”. Govt’s refusal to allot funds for this unique zoological project, probably only of its kind in Asia, if not the world over, is appalling. For me this news is far beyond my wildest dreams. The story by the correspondent makes it a serious and an interesting news. Interesting because is said to be Ch. Lal Singh’s brainchild and that is conceived to be factoring in stalling its further construction. Such misconception arises due to Mehbooba Mufti visit to the site after Ch. Lal Singh’ exit from the Cabinet during which she questioned the development and design of this project and ordered changes. Normally a cabinet decision is altered by the cabinet only. Since she is known for looking at Jammu with blurred eyes, her interference in the project is understandable.
(Muftis are said to be behind the ruined ‘Jammu Lake’ project as well). But, what is appalling is that a gifted project which started on a war footing and progressed with a fast pace under the then Forest Minister Ch. Lal Singh, (as part of the Govt), is facing certain death due to ‘Govt apathy and negative attitude of some people in the State Administration’. Who are they, must be exposed. Despite Regional and Chief Wild Life Wardens’, far junior in the ladder, assurances that the work is only stalled not terminated, one has lost hope in this project because of stated govt apathy. This will be another sad chapter in Jammu’s woes.
On 13th May afternoon I met a Gujarati couple in my brother’s house who visit Mata Vaishno twice a year. They were in here after having visited Mata, Shiv Khori and all the shrines/temples in Jammu. They asked me about Jammu (Jamboo) Zoo’s plight. Not knowing its exact fate, I told them it will be ready soon. I found that they knew about it more than me. Having read the news about its near demise, I think the issue needs to be raised by one and all not only as a Jammu project but as a national monument. Once completed it will be an added attraction for millions of pilgrimage visiting Mata Vaishno and Amarnath. I applaud Daily Excelsior for its front page printing hoping the news will catch the Governor’s attention; where the buck stops. I am sure the Advisers and the bureaucracy will also take note of it and use their good offices and discretionary powers to get this dream project completed soonest and reassure nation’s faith in good governance.
Col J P Singh