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Plan for London Eye replica stays

mumbai Updated: May 15, 2011 01:06 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh

The agency may be reeling under a debt of over Rs4,000 crore, but that hasn't stopped it from floating a quixotic plan of constructing a Mumbai Eye on the lines of the hugely popular tourist attraction in London, the London Eye.

The plan of setting up the Mumbai Eye, which could help Mumbaiites get a vantage view of the city from high in the sky, is one of the numerous fancy projects mooted by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) in the past two years.

Though the agency's core task is to create road infrastructure, the cash-trapped agency has proposed many projects to generate revenue, including two IT parks spread over 14.5 acres on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, a three or five star hotel in Shirdi, a 700-acre race-track on the lines of Formula 1 track, among others. None of these ideas, however, have so far moved beyond planning stage.

The agency is now looking for a consultant to help it identify a suitable location and finalise other details of the project. "We are seeking consultants who will help us in setting up the Mumbai Eye. The project will be similar to the London Eye project," said MSRDC chief engineer Subhash Nage.

The agency is hoping to float bids after it gets a positive signal from the consultant. If it gets the requisite go ahead from the government, the project will be build through a public-private partnership. This is not the first time that a plan to replicate the London Eye has been floated in the city. Four years ago, the municipal corporation had decided to construct a Mumbai Eye on 14,000 sqm land near Bandra Bandstand. The civic body had decided that the height of the project would be 630 ft, which would make it the highest ferris wheel in the world.

This project never took off, as the civic body didn't have enough funds.