The musical fountain at the deer park of Kadri in the city had a shortage of viewers as the years passed by and has stopped completely now. Though the fountain is not working thousands of rupees are being spent on the maintenance of it. The horticulture department is spending more than the income it is getting in maintaining this fountain.
To maintain the musical fountain around Rs 60,000 was needed. Even 10% of this amount was not getting collected by the public. The electricity bill per month was Rs 35,000. Now it has become a challenge for the horticulture department to pay salaries to technicians and other personnel. The district administration is thinking of giving the maintenance of this fountain on contract to private companies.
The musical fountain which used to get function once a week has completely stopped for the public for two weeks. When the fountain show is on there are not even 10 viewers. The department is not getting even Rs 10,000 revenue from this. There is a fountain already inside the widespread Kadri park. Tourists used to watch this for free. However, this fountain has also stopped functioning for many years due to water shortage issues. Now a plan is being made to develop it again.
The musical fountain was built at a cost of Rs 5 crore at Kadir deer park by MUDA and was inaugurated by the then CM Siddaramaiah on January 7, 2018. The work got completed in six months. Because of the then MLA J R Lobo, the fountain was built. The contract was given to the BNA technology company of Bengaluru. Apart from the colour fountain, there is a laser show technology also in this fountain.
After the fountain was opened to the public, there was no entry fee for three months. From April 20, 2018 entry fee of Rs 50 for adults and Rs 25 for children was fixed. Later this rate was reduced due to the reduction in the number of tourists and viewers. Now the fee is fixed at Rs 30 for adults and Rs 15 for children. Even then there are hardly any viewers.
The number of viewers has reduced year by year. For the fiscal year 2018-19 the revenue earned was Rs 8 lac while in 2019-20, the revenue depleted to Rs 7 lac. The revenue also got a beating as the fountain shows did not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Most of the tourists who arrive in Mangaluru from other states or districts go to the beach in the evening. If the fountain was installed at the beach, many tourists would have watched the same. G K Bhat, a member of the Kadri park development committee opines that even if the district administration has thought of giving the maintenance of the fountain to private companies, it is doubtful that anyone will opt for it as the revenue is too less.
Dr Rajendra K V, DC of Dakshina Kannada district says, “Due to the reduction in the number of viewers, the revenue of musical fountain at Kadri deer park is reduced drastically. It is being considered to hand over the same on contract. A discussion in this regard was held with the horticulture department officials a few days ago.”