The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) at Borivli may soon offer packages with discounted prices for entry and lion safari for groups and families wanting to spend the day at the national park.
Next week, SGNP officials will send a proposal to the state forest department recommending the introduction of package tours for groups. The proposal has been mooted after the park hiked the entry fee from July 1.
“Now that the entry fee has been hiked, we plan to give some concessions to large groups of people because they might feel the pinch,” said Sunil Limaye, director and conservator, SGNP.
Earlier this week, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had staged a protest against the fee hike. But park authorities have decided not to roll back the revised rates as the entry fee has been revised after seven years. Park authorities had first introduced an entry fee in 2000 and it was revised in 2004.
“In a city that is starved of green spaces, the park provides the public with so much greenery. Besides, we want to maintain the park in a better way,” said Limaye. “The minimal hike will help us in that effort.”
Besides the proposal on package tours, park authorities are also recommending that the age of senior citizens applying for a walker’s pass be brought down from 65 years to 60 years.
According to the revised rates, senior citizens now pay Rs144 for an annual walker’s pass compared to the previous annual charge of Rs12. For the rest of the public, the annual pass costs double: Rs100 from Rs50.
And for the benefit of women who have household chores to complete in the mornings, the timing for the morning walk is likely to be extended by an hour to 8.30am from the present timing of 5am to 7.30am.