MMRDA invites contractors to build Mumbai EyeUpdated: Jan 16, 2020 23:33 IST
A day after the state cabinet held preliminary discussions to build a giant ferris wheel observatory in the city, along the lines of the one in London, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has issued an expression of interest (EOI) for ‘Mumbai Eye’ at Bandra Reclamation.
MMRDA is looking for contractors who can design, manufacture and operate the wheel that will allow tourists to capture a bird’s eye view of the city. RA Rajeev, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We are exploring this model for now.”
The idea of building a slow-moving ferris wheel, which will have enclosed capsules for people to sit and enjoy the view of the surrounding area, was mooted in the cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Besides London, other cities, such as Singapore, Nanchang in China and Las Vegas, too, have such giant ferris wheels, which are popular tourist spots.
Experts, however, questioned the need for the project and its proposed location —Bandra Reclamation. AV Shenoy from the Mumbai Vikas Samiti said, “It will be just a showcase project that will not benefit Mumbaiites. MMRDA should instead be looking at finishing the projects it has in hand. Also, what will tourists see from the top at Bandra Reclamation? If the government is serious about redevelopment of the port lands, it could have a ferris wheel there.”
Paresh Rawal, an urban mobility expert, said that such decisions must be a part of a larger urban plan for the city. “There should be some base on which the government is looking at such a project. Where does it fit in the larger scheme of things? We cannot keep thrusting these ad-hoc decisions on the city,” Rawal said.
This is not the first time the Maharashtra government has toyed with the idea of building the tourist attraction. In 2014, the state had planned a ferris wheel, but it did not fructify. In 2008, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had proposed the idea of a ‘Mumbai Eye’, but it did not materialise.