Byculla zoo saw 584 per cent rise in income after arrival of penguins in Mumbai
After the introduction of the penguins in 2017, the income of Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan or Byculla zoo increased by ₹12.26 crore which is a 584% increase, according to information from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Between April 2014 and March 2017 before the arrival of penguins, the zoo earned ₹2.10 crore over three years. However, for the same duration between April 2017 and March 2020, the zoo earned a total of ₹14.23 crore. Meanwhile, BMC has spent a total of ₹11.46 crore for the upkeep of penguins till September this year.
The zoo generates income from charging entry fees to visitors which is set at ₹25 for children, ₹50 for adults and ₹100 for a family of four. The earlier entry fee, before the arrival of the penguins, was ₹5.
In addition, the zoo also facilitated a monthly pass of ₹150 per person for regular morning walkers. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in March 2020, the zoo has been closed for visitors. The income generated from monthly passes has not been added to the gross income of the zoo mentioned above.
For three years between April 2014 and March 2017, the zoo saw a total footfall of 3,880,948 people while that between April 2017 and March 2020 stood at 4,094,366.
Earlier this week, the Congress had criticised BMC for floating tenders worth ₹15 crore for the upkeep of penguins over the next three years.
A senior civic official said, “We floated tenders for ₹15 crore considering an escalation in cost. It is around the same amount of money required for upkeep of penguins since 2017. We only estimated an increase and floated bids for ₹15 crore.”
In a statement on Wednesday, municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said, “The total value of the tender for upkeep of penguins was ₹11.46 crore. It is amply clear that increase in the income of the zoo after arrival of penguins is more than the expenditure on maintenance.”