The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has still not managed to procure a suitable piece of land for constructing a tourist reception centre or tourism bhavan in Mumbai, in spite of approaching several authorities. MTDC officials cited shortage of land as the primary reason for the delay. The proposal has remained on paper for the last four years now, despite the state government sanctioning Rs 22 crore for the project in 2008, according to a report by Neha Madaan in The Times of India.
An MTDC official said that the land upon which the Taraporewala Aquarium stands could serve several purposes. "An international standard aquarium could be built there by revamping the current one, which is in a dilapidated condition. Also, the upper floors of the building could house tourism development corporations of each state (displaying products and specialties of as well as information on the state), an international convention centre as well as private tourism offices. The MTDC office could also shift to the same building," he added.
The MTDC official said that the tourism bhavan would be a one-stop solution for tourists, including foreigners, who often have to rush from pillar to post for tourism-related information. "Normally, a tourist has to ask tourism agencies or look up the internet for appropriate vacation destinations or for train or flight reservations. The bhavan would interconnect all these departments so that a tourist could get the desired information fast and at a single place," he said.
Similarly, MTDC has approached several authorities in Mumbai, including the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), and Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority, for about 10,000-12,000-square-metre area for the tourism bhavan as well as the MTDC office. MTDC has also approached the MMB for joint development of their plot in the Bandra-Kurla Complex "on equal share of FSI and equal share of investment" basis, the official said.