Pramila Rani Brahma inaugurates the ticketing system at the zoo in Guwahati on Saturday. Picture by Ali Fauz Hassan
Guwahati, Sept. 30: Next time you visit the zoo be sure to take along an identification document (ID) necessary to buy the new computerised entry tickets launched today.
Assam forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma, accompanied by principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) and head of forest force Bikash Brahma and wildlife PCCF and chief wildlife warden N.K. Vasu, inaugurated the new computerised ticketing system at the zoo here.
The system includes two cameras that click a photograph of the person buying the ticket and the ID. The photograph of the visitor is printed on the ticket while that of the ID is stored in the database. The reverse side of the ticket contains a map of the zoo.
Assistant conservator of forests at the zoo A.K. Dev Choudhury told The Telegraph, "The new system will help speed up things. The map of the zoo on the reverse side will aid the visitors locate animals faster. We are in the process of acquiring a gharial, a chimpanzee and zebra through exchange with other zoos in the country. Other zoos ask for rhinos and hoolock gibbons from our state. The number of visitors drops in the rainy season, around 1,000 a day. So, with the addition of new animals, we expect an increase in footfall."
Inaugurating the new ticket system, Brahma said, "Computerised ticketing will make the system transparent. There have been allegations of financial irregularities in the manual system and these will be eliminated. We expect the revenue to increase and this will lead to better conditions in the zoo. We have been working on cleanliness and better food for the animals here. Addition of new animals is also on the cards through the exchange system. We are in the process of modernising the forest force and buy sophisticated weapons to augment the firepower of the guards in Kaziranga National Park and the other wildlife parks in the state. The forest guards will no longer have to depend on the police for sophisticated weap-ons. An amount of Rs 10 crore has been earmarked for this."
"We are celebrating Wildlife Week from October 1 and Kaziranga will be partially opened for visitors from October 2 to coincide with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This has been decided by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal," she added.
The minister also spoke about introducing e-rickshaws or other appropriate vehicles for visitors inside the zoo. A new feature, celebrating the birthdays of the captive animals in the zoo, was also unveiled by Brahma.