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KARACHI: The famous family-oriented Jheel Park Karachi is no longer a free recreational facility for the visitors as the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has started charging the gate entry fee, and that too through a third party contractor.

The resource-starved civic body has awarded contract of gate entry fee at the Park located in the heart of PECHS neighbourhood to a private company against Rs 7,10,133 for the period of six months, with effect from December, 28, 2021 till June 30, 2022.

Earlier, Jheel Park had no entry fees and that was the reason why many families, tourists, visitors, students, etc., used to visit it on a daily basis for changing their mood after hectic routines of life.

“We are charging Rs 20 per head as gate entry fee from adults, while Rs 10 from children as per orders of the KMC,” Mehmood, the contractor told Business Recorder.

“We have already deposited Rs 7,10,137 to the KMC exchequer,” he said.

Visitors came up with a mixed reaction over the imposition entrance fee at the park. Some said that after the imposition of entry fee, the poor families, students, and unemployed youth may not be able visit this park.

While others said that it will help maintain the beauty of the park and a source of earning to the resource-starved KMC. Some objected the move, saying they can not afford entrance fee on a daily basis in the face of inflation and unemployment. They also lashed out at KMC for outsourcing the gate entry fee despite having a surplus human resource. They said Parks and Horticulture (P&H) department should manage such affairs by its own.

As per the physical possession order of the contract, the highest bid approved amount was Rs.13,15,000 for the fiscal year 2021-22 ending June, 30, 2022, while the bid agreement amount for the period of six months is Rs.7,10,137 from the date of physical possession.

It said: “With the approval of the competent authority, and agreement has been executed between the Parks and Horticulture (P&H) Department KMC and M/S Power Enterprises, Mahmood son of Oliya the licensee, a resident of Pashtunabad, Manghopir Road Karachi on 28, 12, 2021.”

After completion of all coddle formalities, possession of the license to collect gate entrance fee at Jheel Park Karachi is being handed over to M/S Power Enterprises, With effect from 28, 12, 2021 to 30-06-2022.

On the other hand, the Director Media KMC, Ali Hassan Sajid was unaware of the contract when he was approached for his version over the development.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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