CHENNAI : Iwas under the impression that VGP Marine Kingdom would be similar to Taraporewala Aquarium but it is much bigger and I am impressed,” said Tamil Nadu Governor, Banwarilal Purohit, on Sunday at the inauguration of VGP Marine Kingdom, the latest addition to the VGP Group’s enterprises.
He said that during his tenure in Maharashtra, he used to send all his guests to the Taraporewala Aquarium, and that from now on he would make the VGP Marine Kingdom a must-visit on the itinerary for his guests to the Raj Bhawan. “Tamil Nadu is endowed with a long coastline and it only seems fitting to have such a facility in the state,” he said. “The project was completed at a cost of `115 crore. More importantly, steps have been taken to ensure that the water quality is maintained to provide the marine species with a habitat that is equivalent to their natural one.”
The ultra-modern aquarium is the first of its kind in India with an underwater tunnel that is similar to the one in Sentosa, Singapore, and other aquariums in the world. The tunnel aquarium is 70 metres and provides an unmatched underwater experience. There is a walkalator in the tunnel where one can step on it and tour the entire tunnel before being dropped back at the entry point.
There are 35 exhibits with big and small tanks containing both fresh and marine water species. The aquarium has been designed with five zones — Rainforest, Gorge, Mangrove, Coastal and Deep ocean. There are different kinds of exotic fish on display including sharks, sting rays and a plethora of small fish.
“We visited more than 25 aquariums around the world before we started on the project,” said VGP Ravidas, MD of VGP Group of Companies.
“Today, we have created a facility that will be of interest to tourists from around India. More than anything else, we wanted to provide something that was educational in nature. We request the government to provide us with concessions on entertainment tax as this is more of an educational facility. It will give children a chance to learn and experience what they would otherwise need to go to Singapore for.”
The Governor in his address assured the management that concessions would definitely be provided for schoolchildren and urged schools to make this aquarium a must-visit.The chairman of VGP Group of Companies, VG Santhosam and senior directors VGP Rajadas and VGP Babudas were also present at the event.
The acrylic tanks have been imported from Germany. It is being proposed that there will be teaching labs that will provide hands-on information to children about marine life in addition to having marine biologists providing educative sessions.