Though there are apprehensions over the fate of the proposed Dolphinarium project with the Animal Welfare Board giving red signal against the import of dolphins for display and performance, the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) officials believe that it will not be a hurdle for them to implement the project.
Instead of their actual plan for a dolphinarium, the GCDA is presently working to set up a Dolphin Park in which only trained dolphins will be imported.
“A team consisting of experienced hands, which had set up Dolphin parks at various cities in other part of the world, has prepared detailed project report for the Dolphin Park. We will soon discuss the details of the project and will ensure that the mammals are not harmed in any means,” said GCDA chairman N Venugopal. Since trained Dolphins are used in all the Dolphin Parks through the globe, he said GCDA will be permitted to set up a similar facility here too.
Meanwhile, regarding GCDA’s plans for the second phase of Marine Drive expansion, Venugopal said the structural engineers who are preparing the report for developing an overhead road above the backwaters, will submit their report by January 20.
With CRZ norms restricting any construction by reclaiming backwaters, the GCDA, deviating from its actual plan, will construct the road on pillars erected in the backwaters.
The proposed bridge will connect the GIDA land near Marine Drive with the Vallarpadam Container Road. Two more bridges will be constructed in the second phase of Marine Drive expansion connecting main island with Cheranallur and Varappuzha.
Earlier, though the State Government had given its in-principle nod for the second phase development of Marine Drive, nearly 600 acres of backwaters will have to be reclaimed for the project. “Considering the difficulties for getting environmental clearance for such a project, we have decided to change the plan. The structural engineers will look into the possibilities and scope of the plan and are expected to submit their reports by January 20,” he added.
He said that an Environmental Impact Assessment study and feasibility study will be conducted soon. “We will start the preliminary works once we finalise the project estimate and analysing the feasibility study report,” he added.