Gir zone opens at airport, lions roar welcome
The Times Of India
AHMEDABAD: Flyers who land in Ahmedabad will now be welcomed at the domestic terminal by the royal roar of Gujarat's pride. The terminal offers a glimpse of Asiatic lions of Sasan Gir, their only abode in the world. A replica of Gir forest has been conceptualised by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).
Airports Authority of India (AAI) has allotted an 11,000 sq feet area between the arrival and departure terminals. This forest zone features lifesize replicas of lions, black bucks, eagles, leopards, and few other animals that are found in Gir.
"Apart from the objective of giving a glimpse of the Gir forests, the replicas are a marketing tool and can facilitate mass awareness," said Parimal Nathwani, Rajya Sabha member and group president (corporate affairs), RIL. Nathwani inaugurated the forest zone called 'The Gir'on Tuesday. Accompaning him was Lok Sabha MP and actor Paresh Rawal. "Ahmedabad airport is likely to house an aviation museum in future," Rawal said. "J R D Tata, considered the father of civil aviation in India, made the country's maiden voyage from Juhu airport to Drigh airstrip, Karachi, via Ahmedabad in October 1932."
On the Gir exhibit, Rawal said: "Instead of whiling away time in the waiting lounge, passengers can spend some time at this interactive exhibit." He said it is probably for the first time that a special attraction belonging to any state has been displayed at an airport.