Summer fun: Spend a day amid whale, flamingo exhibits for Rs50 at Mumbai’s biodiversity centre
The Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre, a first-of-its-kind centre to study India’s marine ecology, was inaugurated at Airoli on Sunday.
The Rs 15-crore project will be open to citizens for free on May 1 — Maharashtra Day. After Monday, adults will have to pay Rs50 and children will be charged Rs25 to enter the centre.
“It is the country’s first state-wide unit and its creation has increased coastal activity,” said minister of state for forest, Sudhir Mungantiwar.
He added, “It has audio-visual displays and touch screen media stations, which will educate the visitors.”
The minister added that the centre will be open to everyone for free on Monday.
“Each week, two municipal schools will also be allowed free of cost ,” he said.
The centre is part of the Indo-German (GIZ) Project collaboration on Conservation and Sustainable Management of Marine Protected Areas.
The centre will have displays of marine and land ecology. There is a coastal and marine interpretation room, interactive display and souvenir shop. The outdoor attractions will have a mangrove nursery, crab pond, board walk, a view of the creek and flamingos, among others.
The 7,000 square foot centre has been divided into two parts. The first section is dedicated to coastal biodiversity, with exhibits on mangroves and aquatic life found on the coasts of the country. The other section will showcase marine biodiversity and will have exhibitions on whales, dolphins and turtles among others.
N Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forests, mangrove cell, said that phase two of the centre will be inaugurated shortly.
“The project is going very fast and is almost complete. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has sanctioned an additional Rs10 crore, which would be spent on the second phase,”he said.