Hakim hopeful of Kolkata Eye by early 2020
Kolkata: State Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim expressed his optimism that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's dream project Kolkata Eye will be put in place by the beginning of 2020. Larsen & Toubro has been selected through a global tender and work is expected to start soon.
"All the clearances regarding Kolkata Eye has been received. Two agencies had participated in the tender and L&T had bagged it. The file has been sent to the state Finance department for its clearance and work will start soon. We hope to complete it in two years. Hence we are targeting January - February 2020 as deadline for ending the construction work," Hakim said.
It may be mentioned that the initial cost for the project has been pegged at Rs 400 crore, but it is expected to rise due to certain technological inputs. It will be 135 metres in height, exactly the same as that of London Eye and will take 45 to 55 minutes for a complete round after starting from the ground level. It will be a steel structure and parts will be assembled and erected at the site.
As per plans, there will be 60 tubes with seating arrangement for as many as 8 persons in each of them. "It will be able to carry 480 persons at a time," a senior official of the Urban Development department said. Technological help from Tokyo and Las Vegas may be taken.
"This will be the first of its kind in the Asian continent and hence we are hopeful that it will emerge as a major tourist attraction," Hakim said.
The giant wheel, which is a pet project of the Chief Minister, will be set up adjacent to Millennium Park. The view of the skyline and the Hooghly river will be a major attraction.
It may be mentioned that the implementing government agencies of Kolkata Eye have changed hands a number of times, resulting in the delay. "There had been a tussle between two departments, but now everything is on track," an official said.