The zoo story, old and new: Around 2,000 people visit daily but facilities not in keeping with footfall

Visitors say the restaurant is in a bad shape and there was a dire need to renovate it.

Written by Swati Mahajan | Zirakpur | Updated: April 17, 2017 5:28 am
zoo, chandigarh zoo, zirakpur zoo, zoo education park, india news, chandigarh news At the ticket counter of the zoo. Jasbir Malhi

THE MAHENDRA Chaudhary Zoological Park has failed to provide basic amenities like good eating joint and clean toilets to the visitors. The zoo which has around 2,000 visitors on a daily basis and the figures swell up to 10,000 during weekends and holidays is yet to renovate the restaurant and toilets that were built in 1977.

Visitors say the restaurant is in a bad shape and there was a dire need to renovate it. Aditi Thaman, a visitor to the zoo, packed her lunch along. “The zoo does not have much to offer to the visitors when it comes to food. It is better to carry your own food along,” Aditi says.

Zoo director Manish Kumar says, “We plan to come up with a fully equipped food court near the main entrance and wish to rope in one of the popular eatery brands so that there are good eating places for people. As per the zoo guidelines, we try to keep the eating places minimal within the zoo as there are chances of visitors feeding the animal which is dangerous. Thus, there are not many eating joints across the zoo premises.”

The authorities launched the zoo website in October last year and information regarding the zoological park, adoption of animals and history of the zoo is available on the website. Soon after starting the website, the online sale of zoo tickets was introduced as well. The online booking of tickets has, however, failed to take off. Barely 300 to 400 tickets have been booked online since November last year.

zoo, chandigarh zoo, zirakpur zoo, zoo education park, india news, chandigarh news A closed restaurant at the zoo. Jasbir Malhi

Rajesh, who had come from Chandigarh with his family, stood in the queue for 30 minutes and then got the tickets. “We did not know that the zoo authorities had introduced online sale of tickets. After reading the notice board installed here, we came to know about it.”

The online sale of tickets was introduced on November 11, 2016, and it has failed to take off as visitors are still waiting in long queues for their turn to buy tickets.

On the poor response to online sale of tickets, Kumar says, “I feel the response to online sale of tickets is not bad owing to the fact that there is no restriction on the number of persons who can enter the zoo at a time. In a movie hall there are limited seats, so people prefer to book it online. But at the zoo there is no limit. So, people can purchase even after reaching here and there is no hurry as such.”

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