Bhopal aquarium project based on PPP model not viable: survey

  • Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jun 27, 2015 17:05 IST

New Delhi-based consulting firm Deloitte had found that the Madhya Pradesh government’s proposal to construct a high-tech aquarium at Bhadbhada through a public private partnership (PPP) model would not economically viable, fisheries department officials said.

This is bad news for fish lovers as the fish of the famous Machhli Ghar in Bhopal may not get a good home anytime soon.

Director of fisheries department UK Purohit said the firm’s feasibility survey was conducted on the instructions of a special committee formed for the aquarium project and rehabilitation of the fish.

“After Deloitte stated in its feasibility report that developing an aquarium through the PPP mode wouldn’t be economically feasible and it was unlikely that private investors would come forward to invest, fisheries development minister Kusum Mehdale instructed us to seek funds from the Centre for this ambitious project. The feasibility survey report will be submitted before the chief secretary also,“ he said.

The Machhli Ghar was shut down for public on March 31 this year to make way for the state’s first five-star restaurant and its 3.16-acre land and the building were handed over to the tourism department.

Officials of the fisheries department said the government had assured them that a modern aquarium would be built through PPP mode on the land of the fisheries department at Bhadbhada in the outskirts of Bhopal. They had said it would take around Rs 20 to Rs 25 crore to build the aquarium.

On Tuesday, the temporary aquarium built on the ground floor of the fisheries department at Bhadbhada was inaugurated by Mehdale.

Mehdale had told senior fisheries officials that though it was not “that good”, efforts would be made to construct a new aquarium soon.

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