The Maharashtra government’s plan to set up the world’s tallest giant wheel here is stuck because of space and cash crunch. The state reportedly needs at least 50 acre land and an investment of `4,000 crore to complete the project.
Ahmednagar-based architect Anand Shah had two years ago submitted before the Maharashtra State Tourism Department (MTDC) a plan to erect a giant wheel, which would be bigger than the London Eye.
He had secured the patent and copyright for the wheel, which he named Sudarshan Wheel. The MTDC had approved the plan, hoping it might boost the tourism in the financial capital of India.
The MTDC is, however, not able to acquire the required land and get the necessary funding to complete the project. MTDC Joint Managing Director Satish Soni admitted that the project was stuck because of space and cash crunch and hinted that the MTDC might adopt a public-private-partnership model to raise funds for the project. “We are in talks with some big corporate houses for the financial assistance. We are also looking for land in Gorai in north Mumbai. The state government possesses 70 acre land there. We will try to get it transferred for the project,” Soni said.
Shah has designed the wheel in consultation with the Don Albert and Partners, the architects of London Eye. Sudarshan Wheel’s height would be 958 ft. (292 m), while the London Eye’s height is only 515 ft. (139 m).
He expressed displeasure over the delay in beginning the work. The Gujarat government has approached him with a request to shift the wheel there. “I had three meetings with Narendra Modi. He has shown interest in allotting adequate land. However, I am keen on setting up the wheel here because I am a Maharashtrian,” he told Express.