The Model Town Society has played a nasty trick on those coming to the park for the healthy activity of walking and jogging. The entry fee has been doubled for non-members as a New Year gift. This is against the orders of the chief minister who has waved off the entry fee to parks in the city, including the race course park. Previously, everyone visiting the Model Town park had to pay an entry fee of Rs5 and car parking fee of Rs20. Even then many visitors thought the parking fee was exorbitant. But from the first week of January the entry fee for non-members of the society has been doubled to Rs10, while the members have been completely exempted from paying it. Similarly, car parking fee of Rs20 has now been reduced to Rs10 for the members, while the non-members continue to pay as it is. In other words, a member pays Rs10, while a non-member pays Rs30 for a visit. It is a simple act of extortion, highly discriminatory to the non-members. Another act of society’s highhandedness is that it charges full entry fee even from small children who visit the park with their parents.

To encourage people to visit the park, the chief minister should instruct the society management to reduce the entry fee to Rs5, as it was earlier, and the parking fee from Rs20 to Rs10. Visiting parks is a healthy activity that should be encouraged rather than discouraged by imposing heavy fees.

Iftekhar A. Khan,

Lahore, January 8.