Friday 18 October 2019

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Goa plans unique oceanarium at Miramar

 

Goa will be the first state in India to have one of the world's largest oceanarium by 1998. It would be built, owned, operated and managed (BOOM) by an Australian firm - Studio C, through its local firm, the Bharat Oceanic Recoveries Pvt Ltd.

Goa government, on Wednesday, signed an agreement in this respect with the Australian firm, in the presence of Goa's chief minister Pratapsing Rane and Gordon Crowther, chairman of Studio C.

The Australian firm is also planning to set up another oceanarium, on the same lines, in Tamil Nadu, said Crowther. It has built such oceanariums in Australia, Singapore and Jakarta while negotiations are on in Dubai.

To build one of the world's largest underwater aquarium, the state government has leased out to the Australia's specialised firm around 32,000 sq mts of prime land at Miramar beach, in the capital city of Panaji, free of cost.

The project worth Rs 53 crore, says the chief minister, would be reviewed after 30 years of operation while it is binding on the firm to make it operational in two years. It would be Goa's another tourist attraction besides the educational importance it has, he adds.

The revenue government earn on it would be Rs three lakh towards the annual fee and three per cent on the sale of tickets. While the amount of annual fee is renewable every five years, the government will have no direct control on the price of tickets.

Entering the most modern oceanarium would cost an Indian visitor between Rs 50 to Rs 150, from kids to the adults, while the foreigners would be charged between $ 8 to $ 10, initially.

Goa's underwater aquarium is designed to be 40 mt-long, 25 mt-wide and four mt-deep, while its speciality would be one of the world's largest main aquarium display tank. It would be 2.8 mt-wide and 100 mt-long curved acrylic tunnel, which would allow moving walkway and an adjacent fixed platform to provide unparalleled viewing of the oceanarium.

The aquarium will recreate the reef and sandy areas, caves, corals, weeds and all necessary ingredients, which will provide an environment that will suit the swim and glide pattern of shark swimming and will suit the pelagic ocean fish, says the firm's senior engineer Rodney Wright.

Its aquarium tanks would have tropical coral reef display, dangerous marine creatures, cephalopodes, crustaceans, the weird and unusual, the mudflad and mangrove dwellers and the masters of disguise like octopus also.

Its "touch pool" would be stocked with hardy, colourful and interesting creatures of the sea like small sharks and rays, sea shells, crustaceans, sea cucumbers, colourful fish etc. Its external turtle pool would be another attraction, states the Australian firm.

In order to retain educational value of the oceanarium, it would house six individual micro world station units, allowing the visitors to zoom in with adjustable magnification video cameras, by way of joystick control, to the smaller sea creatures.

A large laboratory, marine archaeological museum, multimedia plaza with facilities like digital imaging, INTERNET access and multimedia effects, two class rooms, a souvenir shop and a theatre would provide appropriate information to the students and researchers, it states.

To make the visit enjoyable, the oceanarium would also consist of a cafeteria, function centre, toy train, musical fountain, waterfall, food court and amphitheatre. "It is designed to be India's world class theme park", states Crowther.






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