The plan to set up the ‘world’s tallest observatory wheel’ in Mumbai, on the lines of the London Eye, will get a shot in the arm with the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) signing an MoU with the concept planner next week.
The MTDC, which has prepared the draft MoU, will also approach Mumbai Port Trust and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for possible locations along the Mumbai coast or near the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, in addition to the MTDC-owned plot at Gorai, to set up the ‘Sudarshan Wheel’.
The proposed Sudarshan Wheel’s height will be 958 ft (292 m), while the London Eye’s height is only 515 ft (157 m approx), making it the world’s tallest ferris wheel. “The project will also retain the foreign tourists that Mumbai attracts and be an iconic landmark for the city,” said Rahul Vasaikar, executive engineer, MTDC.
As per the design, the observatory will have two wheels, the outer one with 38 viewing cabins and 38 dining cabins, and the inner one with a 56-bedroom rotating hotel. There will be a ‘moon’ (spherical structure) at the centre with 58 floors, each one spanning 1.5 acres. Two 22-floor towers form an A-shaped structure leading to the ‘moon’, the horizontal arm of which has 90,000 sq ft space.
Pune-based entrepreneur Anand Shah has secured the patent and copyright for the wheel, which was designed in consultation with the Don Albert and Partners and M/S ARUP, the architects and technical agency for London Eye. With an aquarium at the lowest floor, the remaining floors of the A-shaped structure, according to the design, will house a casino, theatre and conference halls. The two ferris wheels will rotate in opposite directions to save energy.
MTDC also toyed with the idea of erecting the observatory at the Bandra Worli Sea Link, but was dissuaded for security reasons and traffic issues. “MTDC has said we can be provided with suitable land in Mumbai. MTDC has taken keen interest but somehow it took time to get to this stage. Meanwhile, Gujarat, Noida, Hyderabad have also shown interest in the project and we have received approvals from other state governments,” said Shah.
The project will take three-five years to be completed after a location is finalised. An area of 50-100 acres will be required. “The project will be a huge job creator,”said Shah.