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You will have to shell out ₹50 to enter Mumbai’s Byculla zoo

Mumbai city news: You will soon have to pay 10 times the existing fare to visit Byculla zoo

mumbai Updated: May 27, 2017 01:27 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao 
Mumbai city news
The civic administration had proposed the hike after the Humboldt penguins started to attract crowds to the zoo.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

You will soon have to pay 10 times the existing fare to visit Veermata Jijabhai Bhosale Udyan, also known as Byculla zoo. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) standing committee on Friday approved a proposal to hike the entry fee for an individual from Rs5 to Rs 50. Opposing the hike, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) walked out from the meeting.

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 all parties and residents alike. After the Shiv Sena’s group leader, Yashwant Jadhav, moved an amendment to increase the fee to only Rs 50, the proposal was approved by the Congress. The civic administration had proposed the hike 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.

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 Rs 50 extra.

The authorities will also increase the monthly morning-walk charges from Rs30 to Rs150. This point had also attracted opposition from the BMC and Samjawadi Party in the meeting. “Morning walkers or even citizens visiting the zoo shouldn’t be charged more than the present fee as the BMC is not providing them any additional benefits. The administration should first finish the zoo’s development. Then think of charging citizens extra,” said Manoj Kotak, BJP group leader.

“We could have supported the proposal if the administration was charging extra just for the penguin enclosure. Why should morning walkers and citizens who are just visiting the Botanical garden pay more?” asked Rais Shaikh, group leader, Samajwadi Party.

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.

Meanwhile, the BJP has threatened to protest against the zoo fee hike.

City unit chief Ashish Shelar tweeted, “Sena along with Congress approved the proposal and will ask morning walkers to pay Rs 150. We will protest.”

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Mumbaiites oppose ₹100 fee for Byculla zoo