The ticket prices of VUDA Central Park were hiked and it has reportedly not gone down well with visitors. The entry fee now stands at Rs 60 for every visit to the park and visitors are simply not interested in shelling out that kind of money.
Previously, people visiting the park had to pay Rs 60, inclusive of the musical fountain show, and those visiting before 5 PM paid only Rs 20. But with the price revision, people visiting the park after 2 PM now have to pay Rs 60, irrespective of the musical fountain, which only begins at 6.15 PM.
When the park first opened in September last year, the ticket prices stood at Rs 20 for entry and the ticket for the musical fountain stood at Rs 40. So visitors who went to the park after 5 PM paid Rs 60, while those before paid only Rs 20. But from March 6, all visitors coming in after 2 PM need to pay Rs 60, irrespective of whether they wait for the show or not.
People visiting the park for the first time during evening hours usually don’t mind paying the fee. Others who have already visited the park and are in just for a stroll feel disgruntled at having to dole out the amount. Prakash K told The New Indian Express, “Except for the first time, when we wanted to see the musical fountain, for every visit we paid Rs 20 per person. When the charges were Rs 20, my family members visited the park at around 4 pm at least thrice a month. But a few days ago, I was surprised to see that the ticket prices have been doubled. How much one has to pay if he has 10 family members (like me) to visit in a group? I think to shell out so much for spending one or two hours is too much.”
The whole point of the park being in the heart of the city was to provide some much-needed lung space for citizens. But with the price hike, visitors question when they should even visit the park when they could just spend time by the beach instead. While the sprawling 22 acres park definitely requires upkeep, with the expenditure standing at a high, visitors still feel inconvenience in doling out such an amount.
VUDA officials observed that people came in at 4 – 5 PM to get the Rs 20 ticket and then occupied the seats for the show even before the people coming in after 5 PM could purchase their Rs 60 tickets for the show. This led to people coming in after 5 PM to stand outside the balcony for the show. So the officials decided to revise the price of the ticket, despite there being a security guard to check the ticket before sending in visitors to the show. The guard has reportedly stated that it is not possible to control such a huge crowd.
VUDA Vice-Chairman T Baburao Naidu stated, “We do not want any disparity between the people who are shelling Rs 20 or Rs 60. So we decided to make it Rs 60 from 2 pm – 8.30 pm and Rs 20 from 9 am to 2 pm. People can avail of the free services of the jogging and walking track in the park from 4-9 am and 4-8 pm.” He further stated a solution for regular visitors of the park, “For regular visitors to the park, we might issue a pass on a monthly basis so that they need not spend Rs 60 per person every time they visit.”