Mumbai's Eye

A giant ferris wheel, to be called Mumbai Eye, is ready to soar in the heart of the city from where tourists can get a bird’s eye view of the megalopolis. The wheel, which will be on the lines of London’s Eye, will be 450 feet in height and will come up at a five-acre plot near Worli Dairy. London Eye is presently the most popular paid attraction in the UK. The idea took shape when BMC’s standing committee chairman Ravindra Wairkar visited London in May this year.Next month, technical experts from London will be visiting Mumbai to discuss the details with consultants in India. “We do not have much to offer to tourists, except for Chowpatty, Gateway of India and a few other places,” said Wairkar, who moved the proposal that was cleared by all parties in the BMC.“Mumbai being on global map, lot of foreigners visit the city. Even domestic tourists flock to Mumbai in great numbers. Mumbai’s Eye will be a huge draw for them,” Waikar added. The project will need clearance from the state government.The project will be handled by private party and will be done on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis.“Initially, we homed in on a plot near Kamala Nehru Park — Hanging Garden, but then we realised the giant wheel will not fit here. We are checking out its viability on the new plot,” said additional municipal commissioner Anil Digikar.
The 135 metre-high London Eye or the Millennium Wheel was ready in 1999. It is visited by over 30 lakh visitors every year. It is the most popular paid attraction in UK, which is located at the western end of the Jubilee Gardens, near River Thames.The Millennium Wheel has 32 capsules and each capsule can accommodate 25 people. The speed of the wheel is very slow and people can even walk around inside the capsule. It rotates at about 0.9 Km/h - 0.5 mph (26 cm per second). It takes about 30 minutes to take one revolution. At the time, it was erected it was the tallest ferris wheel in the world until surpassed by the Star of Nachang in China which is 160 meters in May 2006 and then the Singapore Flyer (165 meters), which was made open on February 11, 2008

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