A new zoo and safari park will come up near Aarey milk colony in suburban Mumbai. The Forest Department of Maharashtra is planning to set up these facilities over 190 acres.

The Dairy Development Department, which controls the Aarey colony, has handed over the land parcel to the Forest Department.

The land originally belonged to the Forest Department but was given on a lease to the Dairy Development Department for setting up the Aarey milk colony in 1950s.

On Tuesday, Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam said Rs 100 crore has already been earmarked for the project. The actual project development would be carried out by Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM), which is a State Government body.

He said that along with the zoo and safari park, hotels, shops and other amenities required by the tourist would be developed at the site.

Forest Secretary Pravin Pardeshi said that only amenities for tourism and residential facilities for staff members would be developed at the site,

“There would be no commercial and real estate development at the site,” Kadam said.

Pardeshi said that the exact quantum of funds required for the project, would only be known after a detailed project report is prepared.

He added that a similar project is already under implementation at Gorewada near Nagpur. The Central Zoo Authority has already given permission for setting up the zoo.

The Maharashtra Government has decided to implement the project by setting up a special purpose vehicle . The FDCM would be holding 51 per cent equity, while the rest would be held by a private company in the SPV. A viability gap funding of Rs 100 crore has already been given to the project.