State approves Tondawali village in Malvan, Sindhudurg, just 450 km off Mumbai, for a Rs 509-crore aquatic theme park; the village was chosen over Mumbai, Raigad and Ratnagiri
Tondawali, some 450 km south of the city, is an obscure but dainty village in Malvan, Sindhudurg, in the Konkan belt in the state.
Pic for Representation
But its geography and regional economy are about to experience a major shake-up that will, in a manner of speaking, endow a part of it with the look and feel of Antarctica. No, this is not a VFX-packed, apocalyptic Hollywood blockbuster.
The state government has approved a Rs-509 crore project to build India's first oceanarium here, or the Sea World. It will be the second major theme park in the state after Essel World, the ninth in the country, and will catapult Tondawali to the recreation map of the country.
The approval for the aquatic fantasyland comes after a recent meeting chaired by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and attended by Industries Minister Narayan Rane and Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal.
Accepted after a feasibility study prepared by Centre-promoted Science and Technology Park in the University of Pune, the park is expected to be thrown open to public in three years, and would include a mock Antarctica among several other attractions (see box).
A simulated sea will be created along with that of a real lake. And finally, people will be able to enjoy a mock Antarctica. According to Jagdish Patil, managing director of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation which will execute the project's completion, "The site at Malvan is ideal for Sea World as it has 13 km of virgin beaches.
The proposed airport at Chipi, to come up by 2015, is just 12 km away and can be reached within 20 minutes. Apart from the required land of 250 acres, some 1,000-acre plain plateau land is available to develop the project. Also, it requires no displacement of localities."
Sea World, which is slated to begin construction in September next year, will include theme-based restaurants where visitors can enjoy a view of the aquatic life over a meal. It will also house a 3D dome and theatre and an underwater studio for film shooting
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