Updated: November 1, 2021 1:22:23 am
While Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo in Byculla is set to open from November 1, people of Mumbai will have to wait a bit more for the opening of Taraporewala aquarium.
Officials said with BMC constructing approach lanes near the aquarium for the coastal road project, the road to the aquarium has been dug up.
Fisheries Commissioner Atul Patne said, “The aquarium had to be closed because of lockdown and now, we have to continue with the shutdown, as the road in front of the aquarium has been dug due to work on coastal road project.’’
Taraporewala aquarium, one of the most visited tourist spots, is part of ‘Mumbai Darshan’ tours organised by operators.
Patne said, “It has become very tough to manage the aquarium. We get nearly Rs 2 crore to Rs 3 crore from sale of ticket and spend nearly 1.25 crore on it. Now, there has been no income since the pandemic began. The road – up to 25 ft – has been dug up from the aquarium’s gate and some part of the office (the aquarium also houses office of fisheries commissioner) has been taken up. Machinery is parked on the road.’’
He added that earlier, tourist buses used to be parked on the roadside but now there is no space left due to coastal road work. “At times, we have to keep our cars at a distance and walk. Sale of tickets for the aquarium is not possible. Also, there is no place for people to wait.’’
“The digging has also damaged our telephone lines and we are without a MTNL connection for the last eight months,’’ said Patne.
Iqbal Sheikh, a retired assistant commissioner of police who looks after police gymkhana next to the aquarium, said, “We also faced issues of accessibility, but now we have been given access with the help of a ramp.’’
Several calls and messages to BMC chief engineer Vijay Nighot, in charge of the coastal road project, went unanswered.
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