It is official now. The Gujarat government has announced in the assembly that Ambardi would be developed as a second safari park for the Asiatic lion.
Replying to a question by Dhari MLA Mansukh Bhuva, the government said the Central Zoo Authority of India had given its approval for the second safari in Ambardi in May 2008.
The government said nothing has been spent on the project so far, but it was preparing a plan. Once it was ready, work would begin soon.
Forest officials said Ambardi would be the second interpretation zone and would be on similar lines as that of Devaliya near Sasan.
This will create a whole new tourist circuit from Amreli to Kodinar via Tulsishyam. Officials said this would promote eco-tourism in Amreli district, just 60 km from Diu. Also, for those who want to sight some lions and head for Diu, the route would come much short.
Officials added that one of the reasons for selecting this site is that Khodiyar dam is close by. So there would be no water shortage.
Forest officials said the Centre had cleared the project but the Gujarat government was delaying it for want of funds.