Mangaluru: The three-day annual fruit and flower show being organised by the Department of Horticulture, Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, district administration and Siri Horticulture Association has achieved huge success as over 40,000 people have visited Kadri Park in just two days. As the entry pass does not have the serial numbers, people suspect some irregularities in the collection of the entry fee.
The organisers had a fixed entry fee of Rs 20 for adults and Rs 10 for children. Children who are accompanied by their teachers and differently abled will be allowed to enter the exhibition for free. As per the statistics available in the Horticulture Department who took the responsibility of collecting entry fee, a total of 7,941 elders and 10,295 children visited the show on the first day. The total collection through entry fee was Rs 2.61 Lakh during the first day of Saturday, January 26.
As the second day was Sunday, more people visited the show. A total of 15,359 elders and 2,562 children visited on the second day. The total collection was Rs 3.32 Lakh. Hence, the total collection through the entry fee alone was Rs 5,94,570. As there were no serial numbers on the entry ticket, people suspect that the collection must be more.
A progressive farmer Narayan Bhat of Billampadavu told newskarnataka.com that there must be some irregularities in gate collection. "As there is no serial number in the entry ticket, a duplicate ticket can be made without any difficulties. The number of visitors must have crossed over a lakh. Why don't the organisers maintain transparency while conducting these types of shows?", he questioned.
Some visitors had questioned the gate collectors on Monday, January 28 for not having the serial numbers in their entry tickets. But, those who are collecting fees seemed unaware of the serial numbers and they asked the visitors to communicate it to their higher officials.
No such malpractice: Horticulture DD
The Horticulture Department Deputy Director Pradeep Kumar admitted that there must be serial numbers for the entry tickets. However, he claimed that there were no irregularities in fee collection. "Though there is no serial number in the entry ticket, the book of the entry pass has the number. We have a proper calculation on how many books (entry tickets' book) were sold and we give the collection to the government based on the book", he said.
Why more fee for stalls?
The organisers had fixed Rs 5,000 for stalls and there were over 80 stalls, selling flower seeds, organic and horticulture products. However, the fee was Rs 1000 for those stalls which were set up by self-help-groups. A stall owner Valarian from Bantwal told newskarnataka.com that if the government really wants to support farmers, it must allow farmers to sell their products at free of cost at the fruit and flower show. If not, the fee must not exceed Rs 2000. As we had to pay Rs 5,000 for three days, we are getting nominal profits only", he said.
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