KARNATAKA

Privatisation of Bal Bhavan ruled out

Kid’s arena: Bal Bhavan is the venue for several children’s programmes in Bangalore.  

Special Correspondent

Tenders were invited for giving it a facelift: Rajneesh



Auditorium being improved by Fun Style Amusement

New hydraulic toy train estimated to cost Rs. 1.24 crore



Bangalore: Secretary to the Department of Women and Child Welfare Shalini Rajneesh said that there is no question of privatising Bal Bhavan as it is a society functioning directly under the department.

Ms. Rajneesh told presspersons here on Tuesday that the authorities concerned had invited tenders for the renovation of Bal Bhavan. Soon after the tender process was over non-governmental organisations and the public had reacted “negatively”, presuming that the Government was planning to privatise Bal Bhavan, she added.

Improvement

On the contrary, the Government had only outsourced the infrastructure for improving the existing facilities. The auditorium-cum-theatre at Bal Bhavan, and birthday areas, were being improved by the Fun Style Amusement, a private concern, at an estimated Rs. 20 lakh.

The Government was all set to install a new hydraulic toy train and replace the worn-out rails with cement sleepers at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.24 crore, she said.

Toy train, boating and coin-operated amusements had been the major attraction at the Bal Bhavan since three decades. The society had been inviting tenders from private persons or firms for providing additional facilities and to update amusements for children in compliance with the Transparency Act since 1991, she said.

Free facilities

The Bal Bhavan Society had not been charging any entrance fee. It had facilitated free coaching and holds other children’s activities on certain occasions. It had been charging a nominal Rs. 125 a child for attending a month-long summer course and supplying art and crafts material free of cost. It had a special package for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and poor children, she said.