Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parking facility at zoo is inadequate.

Lawrence Milton, TNN Jan 31, 2012, 05.46AM IST
 MYSORE: Mysore Zoo, which is receiving the highest number of visitors in the country, has inadequate parking area, thus inconveniencing its visitors, especially during peak season, due to lack of enough space. Yet authorities concerned are dilly-dallying on the issue. Every year, the number of visitors is increasing, with heavy influx of visitors last year fetching good revenue to the facility. But, when it comes to providing parking space to all its visitors the zoo is silent.A park opposite the zoo which is being used for parking is catering to only 50% of its visitors. The problem is evident during weekends, public holidays and peak seasons like Dasara, New Year's Day and also during extended holidays. An alternative parking arrangement has been made at Dasara exhibition grounds, but it is quite a distance, about 300 metres, from the spot. Parking space has been a major concern, but authorities concerned are lethargic about the issue. The park is MCC's property and they have agreed to lease the area to the zoo for a period so that it is utilized for parking vehicles.Zoo executive director B P Ravi told TOI that there is a proposal for a multi-level parking facility at the park area under JNNURM project, but it is still in the initial stages.
The civic body has to take a final call on this score. According to plan, five storey (G+4) parking facility will be created to provide parking space to 300 cars, 40 buses and hundreds of two-wheelers.Meanwhile, Zoo Authority of Karnataka member-secretary M N Jayakumar said, quoting a report, that the zoo is receiving more than 2.5 million visitors every year, the highest by any zoo in the country. Last financial year, the figure stood at 2.6 million, whereas, the number at Patna zoo, Sakkarbaug zoo (Gujarat) and Hyderabad zoo was 1.5-2 million. This season, Mysore Zoo is expecting 3 million visitors, said Jayakumar, who will retire from service on Tuesday.The member secretary, however, claimed that Mysore Zoo has reached a saturation point with regard to creation of new facilities and there is no way to build parking facility at its premises.
As per Central Zoo Authority rules, more than 30% of the any zoo area cannot be used for construction, but Mysore Zoo has crossed the limit. And there is no scope for increasing parking area, Jayakumar claimed. This means that visitors coming to the country's best crowd-pulling zoo, will have to continue to spend time looking for a parking space until the new facility is created.

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