A third Minister from the B.S. Yediyurappa Cabinet has come to the rescue of Mysuru zoo whose revenue has come to naught with its closure over the COVID-19 pandemic since over a month.
Responding to a call from his colleague and Minister for Cooperation S.T. Somashekar, who is also the Minister in charge of Mysuru district, Minister for Urban Development B.A. Basavaraj (Byrathi Basavaraj) on Thursday handed over a cheque for ₹84 lakh to the zoo authorities. The amount was raised from his K.R. Puram constituency in Bengaluru.
Mr. Somashekar, who had earlier raised ₹73.60 lakh and ₹45.30 lakh on two different occasions from his Yeshwanthpur constituency, gave away a cheque for ₹21.14 lakh for the third time in quick succession.
This means ₹1.05 crore had been raised for the zoo in a single day on Thursday. In total, the zoo received ₹2.32 crore raised by Mr. Somashekar and Mr. Basavaraj besides Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Gopalaiah who recently gave ₹8 lakh in his personal capacity.
The zoo spends about ₹2 crore a month on its maintenance, including the feeding of animals, and it relies entirely on its gate collections since there is no aid from the government.
Speaking after handing over the cheque, Mr. Basavaraj said the local representatives and the party leaders from his constituency had also contributed to the fund.
Mr. Somashekar said he had spoken to the AKKA team in the United States and sought help. “I have received a positive response from the team,” he said.
Zoo Executive Director Ajit Kulkarni received the cheques from the Ministers in the presence of Mysuru MP Pratap Simha, MLAs S.A. Ramdas and Nagendra, and Zoo Authority of Karnataka Member Secretary B.P. Ravi.
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