Authorities at the newly renovated Taraporevala Aquarium are charging between Rs 500 and Rs 10,000 for clicking pictures and videos, depending on the camera
A day after it was reopened, the country’s oldest aquarium, Taraporevala, saw a huge rush of eager visitors yesterday. However, the new avatar failed to impress most people visiting the Charni Road aquarium, who complained that at Rs 500 for mobile phone photos, the charges for photography were way too high.
Many visitors were taken aback by the exorbitant rates for photography. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Preparing ahead for the expected rush yesterday, authorities had deployed additional staff and police personnel at the aquarium, especially the ticket counter, to manage the rush. However, the visitors standing in the long queue were disappointed when they read that extra charges would be applicable for any individual who wants to click photos, even from a mobile phone.
What’s more, once inside the aquarium, many expressed their dissatisfaction with the renovation. It seems that photos of a multi-level aquarium had been doing the rounds on WhatsApp groups, claiming to be of the newly renovated Taraporevala aquarium. Most visitors yesterday said that the aquarium was not what they had expected at all.
Umar Matto (24) had come from Thane with his family of three to visit the aquarium. “I saw photos of the multi-level aquarium on WhatsApp and we decided to come and see it, but I am not satisfied with how the aquarium has been developed. Moreover, I was shocked to see some fishes in the tank already dead, just a day after the opening. Authorities are charging R500 for clicking photos with a cell phone, which is unfair.
I think mobile photography should be free.” Another visitor said, “We were expecting the renovated aquarium to match international standards, but the reality is quite disappointing. I get to see a better diversity of fishes during local fish exhibitions. On top of that, they want to charge R500 for taking photos. If the charges are not cancelled, no one will turn up.”
A representative of a South Mumbai school was also visiting the aquarium to see if they could organise a picnic for students, but even she expressed her dissatisfaction with the aquarium. Visitors were seen writing negative remarks on the visitor’s diary that was kept on the premises, and even contacting authorities of the aquarium to express their disappointment.
Worli-resident Sanjay Parab, who had come with his wife and daughter, said, “I had come here thinking that it is a multi-level aquarium, but when I reached I realised that the images being circulated on WhatsApp are fake. Charging money for mobile photography inside the aquarium is not a good idea.”
Anand Pendharkar, environmentalist from sprouts NGO, said, “It is ridiculous to charge Rs 500 for using mobile camera. This is almost as much as someone would pay to visit an amusement park that offers many recreational activities, unlike an aquarium. It is a government-run aquarium and not a place to charge such a hefty amount.”