BENGALURU: From now on, anyone waiting to board a train, or to receive someone, at the KSR railway station can look forward to an exciting and relaxing activity. For, a first of its kind aquatic kingdom set up in any railway station in India will be launched in the concourse portion at the entry of the station on Thursday. The joint venture by the Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) and HNI Enterprises was planned for an April launch, but the Covid second wave delayed it.
N Raguraman, consultant, facility management, IRSDC said, “The cynosure of all eyes is expected to be the tunnel aquarium, which will be the first of its kind in India to be set up permanently in a railway station. This concept is usually popular abroad and is a major tourist attraction.”Syed Hamid Hassan, managing partner of HNI, who has been involved in the Matsya Mela of the Fisheries Department for three years and had put up a similar tunnel during the Mysuru Dussehra, said, “It was such a huge tourist draw and had 2 lakh visitors in three days.”
While Black Diamond, Sting Ray and High Fin Sharks are presently there in the tunnel aquarium, exotic fish from Indonesia, Bangkok, Taiwan and Singapore will arrive soon. A 12-feet-long Paludarium, an aquarium which has terrestrial plants as well as aquatic plants and life, and modelled on the Amazon rainforest, is another attraction. “We have five alligator gars (a fish) in it and a canopy of greenery above with sprinklers creating a misty atmosphere,” said Niyaz Ahmed Qureshi, also from HNI. Murals of crustaceans like Sea Turtle, Sea Crab, Star fish, Seashell, Jelly Fish and Lobster serve as selfie points while a Sea Horse selfie point has been created exclusively for kids. The entry fee is Rs 25 and the proposed timing is from 9am to 9pm.