The Tamil Nadu government has registered the Tamil Nadu Zoo Foundation under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 as part of a recent initiative to transform government societies into companies.
Currently, four zoological parks in the State — Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP), Vandalur; Children’s Park, Guindy; Kurumbapatti Zoological Park, Salem and the Amirdhi Mini Zoo in Vellore come under the ambit of the Zoo Authority of Tamil Nadu, which is one of the several societies to be transformed into a not-for-profit organisation.
Section 8 companies are required to comply with certain legal and regulatory requirements, including the filing of annual returns, maintaining accounting records and conducting regular board meetings.
The governing council of the Authority, headed by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, has given approval for registration of the Foundation, said Srinivas Reddy, Chief Wildlife Warden and Director of AAZP. “We are making legal documents such as AOA [Articles of Association] and MOA [Memorandum of Association] ready,” he added. These documents are the company’s charter that lays down the objectives and management structure.
The initiative is expected to give way for a higher degree of transparency. “The company will have to go through board meetings and CAG auditing,” said Mr. Reddy. According to him, the management and operational structure of the zoos will remain intact. Contractual workers, who have been demanding regularisation of work, will be slowly brought under the scope of the company, the official added.