Mumbai is all set to have an international tourist complex and its second aquarium at Worli. The sea-facing project will be developed on a 14.55-acre plot on the land where the Worli dairy stands, at an investment of Rs 1,000 crore. The site is just opposite the Mumbai Coastal Road, which is expected to be commissioned by December 2023. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had announced this in the budget in March 2020 but the pandemic struck shortly after.
However, at the just-concluded budget session of the legislature, the Maharashtra government issued a notification for the transfer of land, currently in the possession of the dairy development department, to the revenue department, which will thereafter transfer it to the urban development for the project. Subsequently, the Worli dairy and the office of the Dairy Development Commissioner will be shifted to Aarey Colony.
The government notification aims to remove procedural discrepancies and thereby, fast-track the project. It has been released in the run-up to the upcoming elections to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, in which the Shiv Sena proposes to project a slew of development works carried out in the last five years and also upcoming projects, including the proposed international tourist complex and aquarium.
An official from the dairy development department told The Free Press Journal, “The proposed complex is being planned to attract tourists, both domestic and international. The urban development and tourism development departments, in consultation with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, will decide what the proposed complex will house. The main attraction will be the aquarium, along the lines of those in Dubai, Singapore and other countries and it will also have other related sites.
“After the dairy development department will repatriate land to the revenue department, it will be transferred to urban development. The land will be later given to the BMC for the development of the tourist complex and aquarium.” He said, currently Mumbai has the Taraporevala Aquarium at Marine Drive, which is home to marine and freshwater fish and underwater creatures including turtles, morays and varieties of coral fish from the Lakshadweep Island.
The dairy development department deputy secretary, N B Marale, issued the government notification, saying that the dairy development commissioner had been asked to appoint an agency for the transfer of the Worli dairy equipment to Aarey Colony and also complete the land transfer process without delay.