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Construction work for UP's first natural science museum begins at Lucknow Zoo

Being built at the cost of ₹25 crores, the two-storey museum in Lucknow will stretch across 2 acres of land.

The Sub Museum Directorate of Uttar Pradesh has set the ground to establish the state's first natural science museum in Lucknow. Seated at the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Park here, this two-storey centre will stretch across 2 acres of land. Besides the display, the museum will feature a 3D auditorium, gallery, touch screen exhibit, lab, store and a souvenir shop. The entire project has been sanctioned at a budget of ₹25 crores and is set to stand in all its glory by next year.

An upgrade for the Natural Science Gallery

The Natural Science Museum is being developed as an upgrade of the Natural Science Gallery, which presently stands at the Lucknow Zoo. It may be noted that the state had announced establishing an independent museum in the year 2017, however, several hiccups delayed the project until now.

Post its completion in 2022, the science gallery will be fully converted into a museum, equipped with laboratories and 3D auditoriums among other attractions. The new holding will be very beneficial for students, research scholars and nature lovers. Ms. Alshaz Fatimi, Assistant Director of the Natural History Section at the State Museum, Lucknow, said that the gallery has the oldest reserve collection in the country. The collection here is older than the National Museum in New Delhi.

Charting the history of the State Museum in Lucknow

The State Museum in Lucknow was established as the Municipal Museum in the year 1863. The first set of artefacts that were displayed here was provided by the then Commissioner Colonel Elbert. The next major development can be traced to the year 1910 when the museum's archaeological collection was shifted to Canning College (now Lucknow University). The collection of natural science was moved to the Lal Baradari in Qaiserbagh.

In 1950, it was founded as a single unit at the Zoological Garden, due to the increasing number of wildlife lovers here. 13 years later, a ceremonious inauguration was conducted here, by the then Chief Minister of the state. Later, many galleries along with archaeology and numismatics units were built here.

This present-day project happens to be the gallery's first area expansion initiative in about 148 years. The museum tender has been granted to UPDESCO which received ₹5 crores in 2019 to start its construction. At present, only 6 cities in India house a regional natural science museum, namely, Mumbai, Mysore, Thiruvananthapuram, Bhopal, Sawai Madhopur, Chennai.

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