After previous building of National Museum of Natural History was destroyed in a fire, Government is planning to construct a new Museum at an estimated cost of Rs 225 crores.
Nearly 40 years old National Museum of Natural History, which was gutted in the fire, had housed thousands of rare specimens of flora and fauna including a 160-million-year old fossil bone of the Indian Sauropod Dinosaur.
The fire first started on the top floor of the six-storey FICCI building which housed the museum in Mandi House area of Central Delhi at around 1.45 AM and rapidly spread to all other floors except the ground floor.
Fire department officials said the fire safety mechanism of the museum was "not functioning" due to which the blaze could not be controlled.
Delhi's Deputy Chief Fire officer Rajesh Panwar said, "The fire safety systems were there but they were not functioning at the time when we tried to operate them. Had they been working, the fire would have been contained sooner."
The 38-year-old museum had a rich collection of herpetological specimen, specimen of tigers and leopards, preserved butterflies and pre-historic fossils and all of them have been gutted. The museum also had a 160-million-year old fossil bone of the Indian Sauropod Dinosaur.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who earlier visited the spot, described the fire mishap as "unfortunate" and ordered a safety audit of all museums under his ministry.
"This is unfortunate. Museum of Natural History is a national heritage and this is a real loss. We will assess the loss and see how we can restore it and how the recovery plan can be made. There are plans to move to another area to create a new museum," Javadekar added.