Delhi Zoo reopens after year, ticketing chaos, crowding reported

Delhi Zoo reopened for the public on Thursday after remaining closed for almost a year due to the Covid lockdown. Excitement was palpable among the visitors but faced issues in getting online tickets while social distancing norms went for a toss at the entry gate.

A limited number of visitors were allowed to enter while the tickets were being sold online only. However, some visitors faced several problems as few didn’t get the OTP to validate the payment, while payments of others failed. The server also crashed for some time, leaving waiting people high and dry.

Sunny, who came from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh to visit the zoo, told IANS: “The server of the zoo was down. We made several tries to book the tickets but failed every time.”

Some tourists said that when they tried to make the payment, they were directed back to the zoo website’s home page.

Delhi Zoo Director Ramesh Kumar Pandey said: “The tourists as well as the staff were excited about opening of the zoo. We had done preparations regarding the same but there were some issues in regards to the online payments. We are trying to address it and soon it will be sorted.”

“The numbers of card readers will be increase while we are working on providing every payment option on the website also. We are also trying to ensure that social distancing is maintained at the entry gate of the zoo,” he added.

There was no marking at the entrance so that visitors waiting to enter could maintain social distancing, however, thermal screening was being done, hand sanitiser was dispensed and everyone was wearing masks.

Visitors said that arrangements in the zoo were fine but not all Covid related SOPs were been followed.

Nevertheless, young visitors were glad of chance to see their favourite animals and birds again.

Class 3 student Nayra Sikka said that she had come to see an ostrich but when told that as of now, there is no ostrich in the zoo yet, she said that she will then see the elephants.