Punjab's Chhatbir Zoo to reopen from July 20

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Chandigarh, Jul 18 (PTI) The Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, popularly known as Chhatbir Zoo, will reopen for public from July 20 with strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, an official statement said on Sunday.

Punjab's Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation said apart from Chhatbir Zoo, which is about 20 km from here, four small zoos at Ludhiana, Bathinda, Patiala and Neelon, closed earlier due to rise in Covid cases, will also reopen from Tuesday with strict adherence to coronavirus-related guidelines.

The Chhatbir Zoo would be open for public six days a week (Monday closed), the statement said.

Entry for visitors will be allowed from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM instead of its earlier timing of 9 AM to 5 PM, it said, adding visitors will be allowed in three slots in staggered entry and by ensuring social distancing norms.

A limited number of timed tickets will be available in different slots and entry tickets will be valid only for two hours, it said.

The tickets for the zoo entry and other facilities can be booked online as well. Free wifi hotspot facility will also be available at the entry area of Chhatbir Zoo for hassle- free online booking of tickets, it said.

The tickets for Battery-Operated Trolleys (BOTs) will be available at the site. It will be allowed only for group visitors and family members who may reserve a full vehicle at the prescribed rate with strict social distance norms and safety measures. To ensure the safety of visitors, some facilities such as Wildlife Safari (lion and deer safari), reptile and nocturnal house at the zoo will be closed for visitors till further orders, it said.

In order to contain the spread of contamination and to maintain self-hygiene, medicated foot-mat, touch-free sensor-based hand wash facilities have been provided at the zoo entry and other strategic points like toilets, drinking water points, rain shelters, leisure points etc. Single use plastic items will not be allowed inside the zoo. Only water bottles and medicine containers may be allowed after screening, it said.

Visitors are requested to avoid visiting zoo if they have cough, cold and fever symptoms. Adults above 65 years and children below five years of age are requested not to visit the zoo, the statement said.

All visitors shall compulsorily wear face masks while entering the zoo premises and they will pass over the medicated foot-mat at the zoo entrance.

Visitors will have to undergo body temperature scanning and are advised to avoid touching barricades and other surfaces at the zoo to minimize chances of COVID-19 spread and contamination, it said.

Movement of visitors should be along designated visitor paths only and they should avoid diversions or shortcuts, said the statement, adding they will avoid spitting in open areas of zoo and shall not chew pan-masala etc at the zoo premises.

All visitors shall be under the CCTV camera monitoring and a penalty up to Rs 500 per violation per head will be imposed on violators of any of the guidelines, it said. PTI SUN TDS TDS

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