Want to watch penguins at Byculla zoo? Pay 10 times more from Augustmumbai Updated: Jul 07, 2017 10:08 IST
Starting next month, pay 10 times the existing fare of Rs5 to visit Veermata Jijabhai Bhosale Udyan, also known as Byculla zoo, where the popular attraction now is the penguin enclosure. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) general body of elected representatives gave final approval to hike the entry fee for an individual from Rs5 to Rs50. The same for a family of four will be Rs100.
This is the first time in nearly two decades that the entry fee for the zoo will be increased.
The initial proposal was to charge Rs100 each, which was met with strong opposition from parties and residents alike. After the Shiv Sena’s group leader, Yashwant Jadhav, moved an amendment to increase the fee to Rs50, the proposal was approved by the Congress.
The civic administration had proposed the hike after the Humboldt penguins began attracting large crowds to the zoo. Civic officials said the revenue would be used to maintain the penguin enclosure and other enclosures to be constructed for exotic species.
According to the proposal, to attract more people to the zoo, the civic body will charge a family of four — two adults and two children below the age of 12 — Rs100. For a third child, the family will be charged an extra Rs25. If the fifth member is above the age of 12, the family will be charged Rs50 extra.
Authorities will also increase the monthly morning-walk charges for citizens at the zoo — from Rs30 to Rs150.
The BMC will also charge more for photographing and recording videos of the penguins — from the present Rs10 to Rs100 for photographs and Rs30 to Rs300 for videography.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had earlier opposed the proposal and even staged a walk out from standing committee, didn’t oppose the proposal in the general body and blamed mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar for not allowing BJP to raise their concerns. “The Shiv Sena took the Opposition’s help to pass a proposal that is unjust to the zoo visitors and the morning walkers. They didn’t even allow us to speak in the meeting,” said Manoj Kotak, BJP group leader.