By Jagadish Prasad

A new Disneyland-type amusement park underway for city

Mysore, June 10 -The Mysore City Corporation (MCC) has embarked on a mission to create 'Mysore Entertainment Centre' which will incorporate the best features of Disneyland plus a heritage town on the lines of the one in Boston (USA), some features of famous wildlife parks in South Africa as well as Delhi's Pragati Maidan and Hauz Khas (Artists Village).

The Mysore Entertainment Centre (MEC) is the brainchild of MCC Commissioner K.S. Raikar and will cost of Rs. 200 crore to build. Speaking to SOM, Raikar said the project would be located 16 kms from the city on HD Kote road, near Rayanakere, on 70 acres of land. The State Highway 33 runs adjacent to the project area.

According to Raikar, he has been pursuing this vision for the past three years and had met Central and State officials as well as Ministers. He said the former District-in-Charge Minister Shobha Karandlaje told him: 'go ahead and complete the project!'

SOM was able to get the draft blueprint which is reproduced alongside. Raikar said the project would be developed on a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer framework. MCC has followed a single stage bidding process for the selection of the private developer.

The preliminary project development process will begin only after Aug. 2010, after prospective bidders have placed their bid.

Raikar said the MEC would have several zones. Close to the entrance will be a water sports pavilion, go-karting track and a fairytale castle such as the ones in Disneyland. Further along, as the visitor goes clockwise, is the parking lot. Yoga and heritage Spa will be located in a secluded grove. Further up will be the extreme sports centre with facilities for bungee jumping, skate boarding and wall climb units. The exhibition area comes next with state-of-the-art consumer and professional business expo areas.

A world class multiplex with a high end retail frontage is also planned. There will be a 3-star hotel and convention centre and food court with stress on multi-cuisine food outlets. Further along a heritage centre will come up. It showcases traditional architecture of Hampi, Halebeedu, Mysore etc. There will be a scaled down model of Gol Gumbaz and Halebeedu. One of the characteristics of this heritage zone is that the persons who work here will be dressed in period costumes. There will be replicated chariots of Vijayanagar era.

The art and craft zone will have an amphitheatre for folk and other traditional folk songs and dance performances and retail shops. This zone will have residential units for crafts persons on a temporary basis.

The Nature Zone will have flora and fauna centre that will be representative of the bio-diversity of BR Hills, Bandipur and Nagarahole. There will also be a giant 3D theatre for wildlife film shows. The Nature Zone will also have a high vaulted tropical forest butterfly park. From the end of art and craft zone will be a nature walk that will resemble a typical Western Ghats ecosphere complete with avifauna and flora. There will also be a man-made water body with seating arrangements around for viewing water-birds. Near the exit will be the gaming centre with bowling alleys and snooker parlors.

SOM also spoke to Manjunath Shekar of Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) Limited who are the project advisors. Manjunath said the various segments as well as what is to be developed will depend on the consensus arrived at by the MCC and private developer.

Manjunath said, "We have suggested a vaulted butterfly park, but the developer may also set up a rare Western Ghats orchids park." He added, ‘You see, it has also to be profitable for him. But the entry fee will still be much lower and it will be applicable only to certain zones.'

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore