The standing committee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will decide next week if Mumbai will pay Rs 5 or Rs100 as entry free to Byculla zoo, which also houses Humboldt penguins.
The civic body wants to hike the entry fee for children aged three to 12 to Rs25, from the current Rs2. It wants adults to pay Rs100, from the current Rs 5. While entry is free for municipal school students and senior citizens, a family of four (a couple and two children) will be allowed in at an entry fee of Rs100. They want to increase charges of morning walk pass to Rs150 from Rs30 .
The move comes after the Humboldt penguins started to attract crowds to the zoo. Civic officials said the revenue would be used to maintain the penguin enclosure and other enclosures to be constructed for other exotic species.
The scheduled meeting, where the proposal was to be tabled for discussion, was adjourned to pay homage to union environment minister Anil Dave, who passed away on Thursday. The proposal will now be discussed next Friday.
The opposition of the second largest party in the civic body – BJP – will affect the ruling Shiv Sena in the BMC, as it will fall short of a majority .
BJP’s city chief Ashish Shelar took to Twitter to register his party’s opposition to this proposal.
The Sena, which does not have a clear majority in the civic house, will need support of the BJP or the Opposition to clear the proposal.
A senior civic official said, “Any financial decision of the BMC needs standing committee’s approval . The committee can amend the proposal by recommending changes. It can reduce the amount too.”