Tenders floated for oceanarium at Mamallapuram

The state fisheries department has called for tenders under the Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) scheme to construct a state-of-theart oceanarium on a 13.07-acre site at Mamallapuram, costing Rs.257.59 crore
A representative picture of the oceanarium coming up in Diu Island
A representative picture of the oceanarium coming up in Diu Island


In addition to commercial and tourism applications, it will ensure educational supremacy through alliances with universities and marine biology research centres to undertake research with similar institutions globally, according to official sources. 
Unlike aquariums where marine species are viewed through windows, the oceanarium will have a submerged, winding acrylic tunnel which will enable visitors to view species in all directions. “The project will ensure the availability of thousands of marine species, collected from the ocean and which are acclimatised to movement inside the oceanarium which will have corals and reefs as in natural surroundings,” sources said. 
The aim is to make the project a “must see” for all tourists thereby increasing tourist traffic in Tamil Nadu. The state aims to capitalise on the huge tourist arrivals at Mamallapuram which in 2013 numbered 45 lakhs including five lakh foreigners. 
Students are also targeted including the eight crores in the four southern states and 40 lakhs in Greater Chennai Corporation area. Fish species would be brought from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands due to their abundance there. However, only 6.54 acres will be utilised as the rest falls under the sea’s High Tide Line (HTL). 
The attraction will be a 150-metre tunnel including a 100-metre acrylic tunnel where marine species can be viewed. The unit will have 50 small tanks, 60 wall mounted tanks and 5 huge cylindrical tanks with that in the middle towering 9 metres. 
The oceanarium when completed will have up to 20,000 individuals from nearly 300 marine species. Other facilities include a 300-seater special effects, multimedia theatre, two souvenir shops, facility to swim with sharks, scuba diving and feed marine species, six underwater rooms for tourists’ stay, 1000-seat community centre, 60- seat underwater restaurant, 50 bird penguin park, 2000 seat seal stadium, musical fountain, turtle park, all terrain cars and scooters, laser show, game fishing tank and a fish stocking yard.

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