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Thursday, July 02, 2020

Pune: WRD proposes tourist destination on unused land near Khadakwasla dam

The irrigation department has sought proposals from interested organisations to use the land to be developed as a tourism destination on Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune | Published: June 15, 2020 10:26:43 pm
Tourists will not be allowed to enter the reservoir water or the canal.

A new tourist destination near the city is set to come up, as the state Water Resource Department (WRD) has decided to use its 28 acres of unused land in the vicinity of Khadakwasla dam to have an amusement park, water sports, multipurpose pavilion, a village theme, a restaurant and a resort.

The irrigation department has sought proposals from interested organisations to use the land to be developed as a tourism destination on Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. As per the plan, the basic idea of the proposal is the beautification of Khadakwasla dam, and the development of the unused excess land in the vicinity of the dam area for tourism. The land is distributed in five plots, three in Kopre village and two in Khadakwasla village.

“It would be mandatory for the organisation to carry out activity for the dam’s beautification – highlighting the wall of the dam from either side with a special type of architectural or aesthetical object-based lighting effect, which will enhance the beauty of Khadakwasla dam in the evening, at a cost of Rs 2 crore. The land area of the dam wall, which is 1,600 metres in length and over which the illumination is to be done, will be remain in the possession of the WRD and cannot be handed over to the developer,” said a state WRD officer.

The WRD intends to earn the maximum revenue through such tourist centres, which will be sufficient to mitigate the annual costs of maintenance of the dam, including its safety feature, the officer said, adding that the beautification work will be done by the developer with limited access to the area. The developer has to maintain the entire illumination system and operate it during the full 30-year period of the lease of the unused excess land. This work is mandatory and should be completed by the developer within the first two years from the date of the agreement.

“The idea of an amusement and water park has gained all-round demand…This entertainment is hygienic, healthy and above all, pollution-free, and is available for people from all walks of life and age groups. Stress is being laid on children’s all-round development, as well as educational aspects through such parks,” the officer said.

The safety of the ecology in the area, its flora and fauna, and wildlife should not be disturbed, and the responsibility will be on the developer to follow all legal provisions related to environment protection, the officer added.

Tourists will not be allowed to enter the reservoir water or the canal. Water sports will be prohibited in the monsoon period in case the water level in the reservoir goes above the full level. Further, no permanent structure will be allowed within the blue line and restricted area from the dam.

The main theme of the proposal includes a miniature park, a museum, gift shops, a planetarium and a banquet hall. The miniature park may include famous buildings and the Seven Wonders of the World. The museum will include the history, photographs and technical information of the Khadakwasla dam. A mini-theatre would display a show on the disaster flood of 1961 at Panshet and Khadakwasla dams. The planetarium would present shows about astronomy or offer training in celestial navigation, mostly for children. The banquet hall can provide a space for gatherings, wherein people from and around Pune can rent the hall and host events.

The proposal also includes the building of a resort and a convention centre. It is proposed to have multiple restaurants inside theme parks. The multi-purpose pavilion is proposed to provide a hall for exhibitions for art and science, as well as for product launches, fun fairs and food festivals. Campaigns on social awareness and public welfare and public welfare, as well as workshops for kids and summer and winter camps can be hosted at the pavilion as well, due to its proximity to the city.

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