Iconic Tower, Marine Park at Chilika to attract tourists
The Tourism Master Plan for Chilika, which has been placed before the State Government, has drawn up massive projects to cash in on the USP of the brackish water lagoon and the ecological resources the region has to offer. A flagship Iconic Tower and Marine Park at Satapada, Day Cruise, Luxury Resort, Eco Village and a Tourism Node are all part of an ambitious plan drawn up under the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP).
In the plan chalked out by IPE Global, which is a consultant for the project, the Iconic Tower and Marine Park have been envisaged over 13.92 acre. While the tower is proposed at a whopping Rs 104 crore, the marine park is planned at an estimated cost of Rs 58.33 crore. The site for the project is mulled at Satapada along Chilika. The Iconic Tower is planned at 120 metre so that it can be visible from areas around Chilika as a landmark. The tower’s shape will be inspired by a dolphin’s fin and it would have viewing galleries at mid and top floor and facilities like aquarium and marine zoo. “The tower is proposed to be surrounded by an artificial water body to create a sense of a dolphin rising out of the water,” says the plan.
Similarly, cruise ship with viewing gallery on upper deck, restaurant and cafe with viewing windows fitted with binoculars and guides on lower deck are also envisaged. Two cruise ships are planned at Satapada and Barkul. However, such a facility would require adequate draft for the cruise ships, environment permission for visiting Nalabana Sanctuary (which is currently out of bounds for tourists) as well as eco-friendly designs and bigger jetties.
The master plan also includes a luxury resort at Rambha with international accommodation and convention facilities besides top-class infrastructure. Proposed over 19 acre, its cost is estimated at Rs 185 crore. Similarly, the Eco Village at Rs 10 crore, Aranya Lodge and a boarding school at Dhani forests have been proposed. The master plan is based on the calculation that it would generate about 91,799 number of employment against the investment of Rs 758 crore proposed in Phase-I apart from the infrastructure investment to the tune of Rs 500 crore. The whole plan would have to be operated by a Special Purpose Vehicle.