From tomorrow, visitors to the Delhi Zoo will have to shell out more with the authorities deciding to double the entry fees.
While domestic visitors will have to pay Rs. 20 from the current Rs. 10, foreigners will pay Rs. 100 against the present Rs. 50. Tickets for children will cost Rs. 10 from the existing Rs. 5.
An ATM facility for the visitors and zoo staff at the entry gate will also start operating from tomorrow.
Delhi Zoo, which is the only zoo in the country that is under the Environment Ministry, does not have any say on the gate fee collection which is instead deposited to the Centre but this may soon change.
“I will soon hold talks with the Finance Ministry to allow the zoo to retain the fund collection so that it can utilise money for providing better facilities to animals,” Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told PTI here.
However, Mr. Ramesh was keen that the zoo has its own sources of revenue under its control to meet its day-to-day expenses.
Zoo’s Joint Director Anand Krishna said the decision to increase the entry fee was pending for long.
“Visitors carrying cameras will have to pay Rs. 100. For commercial cameras or video shooting, the rate has been increased from Rs. 500 to flat Rs. 1,000,” he said.
The zoo authorities are hoping to garner annual revenue of Rs. 2 crore from this increase in the entry fee, making it self-sustaining.
Delhi Zoo is also hoping to boost its coffer by planning to set up its own souvenir shop where a large assortment of zoo-themed products from toys to apparel will be available on sale for visitors.
Established in 1959 and spread over an area of 214 acres, Delhi Zoo is home to more than 2000 species of animals and birds from across the world.
The authorities have also selected a consultant to prepare 20-year master plan for the zoo which is expected to be submitted by next month.
Most of the zoos across the country have already submitted their master plan to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA).