KOCHI: The preliminary works of the much-talked about Oceanarium project, which is expected to give Kerala a prominent position in the marine tourism sector of the country, is all set to begin by August this year.
The proposed Oceanarium, to be set up on 50 acres of land at Puthuvypu, will offer unique underwater experience by showcasing aquarium alley, deep-sea tunnel, polar pavilion, shark tank, touch tank and other entertainment facilities.
The project is at present under the consideration of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) clearance.
“The CRZ (Coastal regulation zone) clearance and a no-objection certificate from MoEF is expected after the meeting that will be convened this month-end. We are planning to begin the procedures for re-tendering the project by next month,” said Fisheries Resource Management Society (FIRMA) A Gopalakrishnan Nair.
He said the project cost would see a slight escalation at the time of re-tendering. “It was actually proposed at a cost of `450 crore. But now it will be revised at the time of re-tendering considering the increase in the prices
of construction materials,” Nair said. Regarding the response for the tender floated for the Oceanarium project last year, Nair said that only one company has responded at that time. “The other companies, that had expressed their interests in the project were of the opinion that it is better to take part in the tender after obtaining the EIA clearance. That is why, we are planning to float tender again after securing the EIA clearance,” he said.
An initiative of FIRMA, the detailed project report and the basic design is prepared by Mahindra & Mahindra and French company Jacques Rougerie Architecte. The conceptual design is similar to the one at the city of Brest in France.