Bhubaneswar: The much-awaited toy train service in Odisha’s famous Nandankanan Zoo begins from today.
As per the arrangements, a train with 4 coaches will provide the joy ride to around 700 visitors every day from 9 am to 5 pm. In order to facilitate the toy train, a broad gauge of 1.2 km has been laid out in the park.
A total of 72 visitors will get the chance to witness the rich flora and fauna of the zoo from the toy train in each ride. The zoo authorities have estimated to provide around 12 such joy rides each day.
The toy train project set up at the cost of Rs 3.05 crore and was inaugurated by Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha on the premises of the zoo on the occasion of the State-level 67th wildlife week.
The toy train, which began in 1985 with a 1.6km track, used to ferry as many as 60 visitors for a 20minute ride. The toy train was among the major tourist destinations of the zoo and used to attract around 1.5 lakh tourists every year. The service was stopped in 2014 after the state government cancelled its agreement with a private operator.
The zoo administration has informed that the aerial ropeway facility will also be a reality in the park soon as the work for the same will begin this month.
It is worth stating that, the ropeway service, which was introduced in 1994 to ferry passengers from the zoo to the botanical garden and passed over the Kanjia lake, was permanently shut down in February 2011 following concerns over its safety. Zoo officials said the cable and the cars would be completely new and the ropeway would have a length of 627m.