Mumbai: The country's oldest Taraporevala Aquarium reopened today, with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis saying that the 'iconic' landmark will be a major tourist attraction in the financial capital.
"This is the first aquarium in India having rare, exotic fish and will be a key tourist attraction and an iconic landmark," Fadnavis said after inaugurating the aquarium.
Fisheries minister Eknath Khadse said the government undertook the renovation and modernisation drive in keeping with the times and to help fisheries students, besides tourists.
The renovated aquarium has a 12-feet long and 360 degree acrylic glass tunnel. Another attraction is the special pools, where children can touch fish which are harmless. The fish will be kept in large glass tanks, which will be lit with LED lights.
The renovation, on for two years, was earlier scheduled to be completed by August 2014 but got delayed due to technical reasons. The cost for renovation also escalated from Rs 19 crore to Rs 22 crore.
The new aquarium will have about 2,000 fish of over 400 species, most of them imported from Hong Kong and Bangkok. Most of the marine fish are exotic, like butterfly, damsel, helicopter, Arowana and Gruppen. Other varieties include the tang, yellow-striped tang, blue-spotted stingray, star, clown, hark, trigger, Grouper and Moorish idol.
"The aquarium will have awareness programmes. There will be slide shows or educational films of 10-15 minutes each for children," fisheries commissioner Madhukar Gaikwad said.
The visitors' fees for adults (above 12 years) has been hiked to Rs 60 and for children (3-12 years) it will be Rs 30.