State Affairs

Vizag may get marine aquariums

VIJAYAWADA: The largest city in Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam, may soon have a world-class Dolphin Park and marine aquariums to boost the thriving tourism industry in the State.

The government is mulling over revival of the Dolphin Park project and add a couple of marine aquariums near the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam, reports The Hindu.

The idea is to bring dolphins and other marine species for world-class shows at the park, according to a top official in the Forest Department.

“The proposal is making the rounds in the official circles. The government may soon revive the project plan and resume the 60-acre facility on the Beach Road. The plan also includes sending a few staff members abroad for training so that they will be able to handle the dolphins brought for the shows,” said the official on condition of anonymity.

Setting up of huge marine aquariums on the lines of those at Sentosa in Singapore will also be one of the attractions in the park.

The Dolphin Park (Dolphinarium) project, conceived about two-and-a-half decades ago, was halted midway after constructing a huge concrete tank and other basic structures near the zoo park on the Visakhapatnam-Bheemunipatnam Beach Road.

At present, the facility and concrete tank are in a dilapidated condition. Youth play cricket in the tank and, for some, it’s a hideout for doping and other associated anti-social activities, allege locals.

The government is likely to call for global tenders to take the idea forward. As per the data available, the government’s earlier attempt to develop the project did not fructify due to inter-departmental coordination issues.

The project was shelved after spending a few lakhs on construction of basic infrastructure. The project assumed significance in the light of the government’s focus on developing the city as a major tourist attraction.

Incidentally, the zoo has got a sanction of Rs. 36 crore from the World Bank as part of the AP Disaster Recovery Project (APDRP). However, the government is yet to work on the finer details, official sources say.

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