The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has hiked the entry fee to Veermata Jijabhai Bhosale Udyan, popularly known as Byculla zoo, by 10 fold from Rs. 5 to Rs. 50.
The general body of elected representatives of the civic body, held on Thursday approved the proposal to hike the entry fee for per person (above age 12) from existing Rs. 5 to Rs. 50.
Besides, a fee of Rs. 100 has been fixed to permit entry of four members of a family. Entry fee for children (up to the age of three) is Rs. 25.
The approval was given after Shiv Sena’s group leader in the house, Yashwant Jadhav moved an amendment to increase the entry fee to Rs. 50 from Rs. 5.
The proposal was approved by Congress, while the BJP remained neutral.
Director of the zoo, Dr. Sanjay Tripathi said that the new entry fee will be charged from August 1 onwards.
The move to hike the existing fee was mooted after a large number of visitors started thronging the BMC-run zoo, to see the eight Humboldt penguins, including five females, that were procured from Seoul, South Korea, last year in July.
Due to some bacterial infection, one of the penguins had died in October last year, while seven were moved to the permanent enclosure in the zoo in March.
The exhibit of the seven penguins was open for public from March onwards, and it became an uphill task for the zoo authority to manage a large crowd.
The civic administration has decided to raise the entry fee so that the additional revenue could be utilised for the maintenance of the zoo, including the penguin enclosure.
Earlier, the BMC, after consultation with the zoo authorities, had proposed to hike the fee up to Rs. 100 per person, which was vehemently opposed by all the parties and various resident associations.
“According to new rates, entry fee for adults and children (three to 12 years) is Rs. 50 and Rs. 25, respectively. A family of four will be charged Rs. 100, while the additional member will be charged as per the regular ticket price,” Tripathi said.