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RAHIM YAR KHAN: Condition of the local wildlife park and zoo has deteriorated over the years due to paucity of funds.

The park was established in 1986 on 15 acres on Kacha Sadiqabad road, 7km from the city.

In the beginning there were several animals and birds, but with time the number decreased due to lack of facilities. Similarly, cages, benches, footpaths, washrooms, watercourses and quarters for zoo servants had not been repaired for long. Grassy lawns of the zoo had converted into dry fields due to unavailability of irrigation water from the canal and there were no arrangements of a turbine.

In 2011, the then government had released some funds for the development and beautification of the zoo, which has not happened yet due to insufficient funds. The funds were due to lapse in 2013.

Steel rods of cages had started rusting, bore for a turbine was completed last year but a motor could not be installed there, building material for servant quarters, footpaths, bathrooms and swings was also lying unutilised.

There were 119 peacocks, 15 black deer, two barnacles, two black bucks, three monkeys, 16 ducks, two great antelopes and a heron at the park, but all growing weaker by the day.

District Wildlife Officer Mujahid Kaleem claimed he had demanded Rs21.438 million from the government for development of the wildlife park through the buildings department, adding he had even met District Coordination Officer (DCO) retired Capt Muhammad Zafar Iqbal several times and written three letters to him for completion of work on cages, lawns, swings, slides and bringing in new animals.

He further said the scheme introduced in 2011 for the improvement and rehabilitation of the park was not adequately funded. The DCO had forwarded two letters of demands to the chief secretary and chief minister, he added.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2016