Nandi Hills: Hike in entry, parking fee upset visitors

Tipu Drop atop the Nandi Hills, Chikkaballapur district. DH File Photo

The decision of the Horticulture Department to hike the entry and parking fee at the famous tourist destination, Nandi Hills, hasn’t gone well with visitors.

The Horticulture Department’s justification to hike the fee is the implementation of GST. It submitted a proposal to the state government seeking the hike of entry and parking fee after the Central government implemented the GST. Within no time, the state government approved it.

“The term of the previous contractor managing facilities at the hills has ended. The new tender will be invited shortly and once the tender is finalised, the new rates will come into effect. This may happen by January next year” said Ramesh, the special officer at Nandi Hills.

As per the hike proposal, the entry fee for a single person would be doubled to Rs 20 and the parking fee (two-wheelers) will go up to Rs 30. The parking fee for cars will be fixed at Rs 125 from the present Rs 100.

However, the decision has evoked widespread anger and displeasure. According to visitors who throng the hills in large numbers, it was improper on part of the Horticulture department to hike the fee without improving basic amenities.

They pointed out that the department had abysmally failed to develop the Nandi Hills. Visitors face many problems such as a lack of safe drinking water, toilets clean gardens and rest houses. A few visitors said that the department had failed to curb monkey menace.

The then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa had assured in 2010 that the government would spend Rs 15 crore for the development of Nandi Hills. There have been many such assurances since then without any action.

In October 2016, Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge had said that a comprehensive master plan would be implemented at a cost R 50 crore within three months and the works would begin in four months. It’s more than two years now, but there is no trace of what Kharge had assured then.

Horticulture Minister M C Managuli visited the Nandi Hills on September 19 and said battery-powered vehicles would be launched on an experimental basis.

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