Just staring at a giant Ferris wheel, let alone getting onto it, can make many people feel dizzy or make their hearts beat faster. But not all such giant structures are scary; many are meant to let people observe and appreciate a beautiful skyline.
One such observation wheel is soon going to hog the banks of the Hooghly, near Millenium Park. It has been named 'Kolkata Eye', and is modelled on the 135-metre high Ferris wheel on the banks of the Thames, 'London Eye'. The structure would be 120 metres tall. The 36 air-conditioned-capsuled wheel would revolve slowly (hence put away your jitters!) in order to give people a magnificent view of the skyline of the metropolis, and thus make for a new way to appreciate Kolkata.
The Rs 381-crore project would be built on a public-private partnership model. UK-based firm Sun Consulting and Investments has been chosen to execute the project. Of the Rs 381 crore, Rs 81 crore would come from the state government and the rest would be invested by this UK-based firm. The third partner in the project is Kolkata Port Trust, which will provide the land near Millennium Park. The project is expected to be completed by next year.
Proposed location plan of 'Kolkata Eye'
Kolkata Eye is an important step in the beautification of the banks of the Hoogly. Right after becoming chief minister, Mamata Banerjee decided to beautify the Hooghly riverfront on the lines of that of the Thames, and some stretches have already been beautified. The government is looking for World Bank assistance to develop the riverfront on a grand scale. It is also planning to develop riverine transport by setting up more jetties.
The giant Ferris wheel will not only provide us a new experience to savour but will also become one of the best tourist attractions. It will also become a bliss for photographers who can capture the city’s skyline like never before.