It’s been more than three weeks now since the Taraporewala Aquarium renovated for Rs 20 crore was thrown open to the public. However, with more than 125 marine fish of different species dead, there are doubts over whether proper research and opinion was sought from experts before housing the marine species and before undertaking the larger renovation process.
The aquarium has always been a favourite amongst citizens and tourists, but post renovation, expectations were so high that within a day of its opening, thousands of people were competing to enter the aquarium. However, those knowledgeable about fish were unhappy with limited species on display.
A majority of visitors had seen pictures of the aquarium on WhatsApp and Facebook, and were looking forward to a multi-storeyed ‘tunnel aquarium’. But when they visited Taraporewala, they realised that the pictures were fake they were clicked at a foreign aquarium.
It’s not just the aquarium’s scale or variety that disappoints, but even the rates charged for photography inside the aquarium using cell phones and digital cameras is exorbitant. Most visitors said that the expense was unjustified, especially since the aquarium doesn’t have many rare species worth photographing.
Despite all its shortcomings, hundreds continue to queue up outside Taraporewala Aquarium even today. But the venue does not have proper facilities such as a canteen or restaurant on the premises to allow visitors to spend some time relaxing there.
Mumbai should learn from international aquariums, which not only plan such facilities for the convenience of visitors, but also look for ways to provide a comfortable and welcoming experience. This ensures that visitors keep returning, leading to larger revenue.
Right now, all that can be said about the Taraporewala Aquarium is that it is way behind international standards.