Visakhapatnam, the third most cleanest city in the country, is all decked up to have India’s tallest sky tower at 120 meters and a world-class oceanarium to boost tourism in this part of the globe. The tower, with a revolving restaurant on top, is proposed to be erected on the Kailashagiri Hills, offering a panoramic view of the sea, city and surrounding areas.
The city, otherwise cutely called Vizag, is the most sought-after tourist destination in the South, donning the pristine beauty of the beaches on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The sky tower, yet to be named by the Andhra Pradesh government, and the oceanarium will emerge as distinctive landmarks and will become the biggest tourist attractions in the country.
The tower, to be built by a German-based manufacturing company, will be made of special German steel. At a height of 120 meters, it will have the capacity to withstand wind speeds of more than 300 km per hour. The Hudhud cyclone, which battered and ravaged Vizag in 2014, recorded wind speeds of up to 210 km per hour. “Any cyclonic storm with wind speeds crossing 222 km per hour is generally catergorised as super cyclonic storm. But Hudhud falls under ‘extremely severe’ cyclonic storm category”, said the weathermen.
Mumbai-based Bombay Amusements Ltd, the promoters of the project is partnering with Hyderabad-based Swarnamukhi EXIM Private Limited to execute the project. Presently, there are 18 such sky towers in the world, with Tiger Tower being the tallest located in the Sentosa Southern Islands in Singapore. Seventy people, at one go, can be accommodated at the air-conditioned revolving restaurant, besides, a host of other amusement parks will be put up surrounding the sky tower.
Vinay Kumar Reddy of Swarnamukhi speaking to Uday India, said, “Despite a few sites being suggested by the officials, we are keen on Kailashagiri, as the place is the most visited spot in the city.” This hill,
Mr Vinay said, “would also add another 300 feet, putting the “tip” of the tower at 650 feet above the sea level, where plans are on to hoist the national flag, marking it the highest point in the country”.
Mr Reddy said, the tower could be built only in a few weeks, if not for the German manufacturer’s lack of readiness to be able to take up the project, as it sought one year time on account of being preoccupied with other orders. He said an MoU, in this regard, was signed during the Partnership Summit and work would start soon.
The Rs-87-crore project is being executed with the active participation of the state government, the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) and the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC).
World-class oceanarium, supposed to be the one-of-its-kind in the country, will soon kick-start operations on the Vizag beach, if the MoU signed between the West Godavari-based sea food exporting giant, Ananda Group and the state government, is put on a fast pace.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Ananda Group, pioneers in seafood exports and aquaculture and the State government in a bid to give a boost to the tourism.
Hundreds of species
The oceanarium will house whales, sharks, dolphins, seahorses and other bony fish. Crustaceans, starfish, sea urchins, and other echinoderms apart, the oceanarium also proposes to be a home for sea anemones, corals, octopus, cuttlefish, sea snails, mollusks, jellyfish, marine and terrestrial plants and other marine organisms drawn from the natural habitat of the Bay of Bengal. The number of animals, in the near future, might go into thousands, covering hundreds of species, it is reliably learnt.
Sources from the company said the major exhibits will include huge sea-water tanks for large marine life-like sharks and lion fish with acrylic tunnels for the tourists to walk through the oceanarium itself.
The shark enclosure will have transparent bottomed boats for looking down into the water from the surface.
Vizag will soon be a “must visit” dream tourist destination for the travellers all over the country. Tour operators are too excited about the plans the State government, particularly Chief Minister Nara Chandrbabu Naidu has for this port city — the major projects being INS Viraat, Oceanarium, Skytower and the Navy Museum at VUDA Park. The people of Vizag, want the Chief Minister to fulfill all these dreams, before he faces the next Assembly elections. After all, the people of the district, gifted Mr Babu with 10 members being elected to the Legislative Assembly in the 2014 elections.
by Samuel Tatikonda