Building Bengaluru with Lego blocks, literally!

'It all depends on whether the private players view these projects as viable and doable ones.'

As Industries Minister R.V. Deshpande leads from the front in the fight for investments into the state, the government is set to put out some unusual, if interesting and potentially lucrative, projects for investors to pump money into. But the story of GIMs so far has been one of ambitious targets, exuberant promises and hasty MoUs, but of little follow-up and implementation on the ground once the event ends. Will it be different this time?

Last November, the state industries minister R.V. Deshpande, clearly stated that the Karnataka government was expecting investments worth Rs 1 lakh crore during the ‘Global Investors Meet (GIM)-2016’ in February and that the state was looking to woo investors in various sectors.

The creation of Lego and Disneyland theme-based parks in the city, were some of the ambitious and interesting projects expected to boost the tourism industry in the city and generating more employment opportunities and revenue, but how do Bengalureans view these projects and what do industry experts have to say?
The project of setting up of a Lego Theme Park with the Public-Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework is expected to be taken up at a cost of Rs 26 crores for the promoting of adventure sports and creating high-end accommodation in the IT hub.

Similarly, a Disneyland-based theme park is to be constructed at a cost of Rs 100 crores and will be along the same lines as international theme parks like ‘Disneyland,’ ‘Six flags, Universal Studios’.

Finally, the project of a Snow Park, is also in the pipeline and will cost Rs 43 crores. Based on reviews of similar snow parks in India and abroad and an analysis of the amusement park industry, it is assessed that the Project could be developed on a land parcel of approximately 5 acres (“Project Site”) in the garden city.

A member of the Karnataka Tourism Vision Group, V Ravichandar, says, "It all depends on whether the private players view these projects as viable and doable ones.

Will they take a bite at these projects?
“These projects will provide options to people living in the city, when they spend a day out. Even outstation people will have places to spend their time in the IT hub and of course the government will earn more revenue, so it is better than not doing anything.”

However, S. Ejaz Ahmed, FKCCI’s Civic Affairs Committee Chairman, feels, “Although I agree that tourism is a major sector for the government to earn revenue and is growing quickly, I feel they should first revive the existing industries and infrastructures instead of just adding new ones.”

The government officials feel that since Bengaluru is now popularly known as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’ and has become one of Asia’s fastest growing cities with a decade-long population growth, touching the figure of 49.47, (there are many people coming in here every year), these theme parks will boost tourism in the city.

Many projects on offer. Are there takers?

Animation lab: Visual effects, gaming and comics (AVGC)

The state government, through KBITS, in conjunction with the Association of Bangalore Animation Industry (ABAI) has proposed setting up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC Lab) in Bengaluru, on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis.

In line with the AVGC policy of the Government of Karnataka, the Authority desires to promote the sector across the state by bringing in the latest technology, fresh and innovative ideas and the required investments at a cost of Rs 26 crores. The proposed AVGC Lab, is envisaged to be a state-of-the art facility that will provide the industry in Bengaluru and Karnataka with a holistic and technological boost in all aspects of the AVGC sector.

International aero-space museum in Jakkur

The Government intends to develop a state of the art and international standard Aerospace Museum & Interpretation Centre in Jakkur Airfield to the North of Bengaluru. This will be taken up to promote the understanding of aviation and the aerospace industry and technology associated with it; to increase the visibility of Bengaluru on the global tourism map. However, the cost still has to be estimated.

An arts and crafts village

  • In order to bring all arts and crafts practiced in various parts of the State under one roof, the Government intends to set up an Arts and Crafts Village in Bengaluru, at a cost of Rs 4 crores.
  • The village is expected to be developed in an area of around 5 acres with a built up commercial space of around 20,000 sq.ft. The Government intends to undertake the development of this village through Private Sector participation where the private developer would be required to set up the village, operate and manage the village on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model.

Markets to be developed

The existing markets are very old ones and BBMP has plans to re-develop these markets after dismantling of the existing structures. The sizes of these markets vary from small markets, medium to large markets. The markets to be redeveloped would also be provided with commercial space, parking and also for rehabilitation of existing shop owners etc. The cost is yet to be estimated.

Digital media city

At an estimated cost of Rs 782 crore, the state government, through the KBITS, in conjunction with the Association of Bangalore Animation Industry (ABAI) has proposed to develop a digital media city with core digital and support infrastructure which will provide an ecosystem of solutions to media/AVGC, the Media City. The Media City is an environment which facilitates quality production of entertainment by bringing the entire value chain of a media unit under one roof with players connected in the media domain such as Broadcasters, Studios, Post-Production companies, Animation, VFX facilities, Equipment rental companies, etc.

The State Government is considering a partnership with a private sector player in the capacity of an individual partnership or consortium, on a PPP mode near Electronic City.

The main aim of the project is to create a state-of-the-art infrastructure facility for the Animation, Visual effects and Gaming industry to provide various services such as Core Media Services, Support Media Services and Ancillary Services.

Integrated bus terminal with smart infrastructure in Tumakuru

The project, estimated at Rs 165 crores, aims at improved reliability and longer life of buildings, a ‘walk to work’ concept, sustainable buildings, which results in reduced energy consumption and operating cost. The project components are SMART building, green building, number of facilities at single location and dedicated basement parking.

TTMCs across the city

The improvement of the BMTC Traffic and Transit Management Centre (TTMC), KSRTC intercity bus terminal, depot and commercial complex on existing BMTC depot site at Hebbal at a cost of Rs 250 crore. This will be followed by development of BMTC Traffic and Transit Management Centre (TTMC) centre at Jayanagar 4th block at a cost of '240 crore and at Electronic city at Rs 83 crore, at Yelahanka at Rs 375 crore and at Kathriguppe at Rs 155 crore.

BDA complexes to be modernised

Plans are afoot for re-development of BDA commercial complexes at Indiranagar, RT Nagar and Vijayanagar at Rs 335 crore, Rs 34 crore and Rs 40 crore respectively.

Dinner cruise at Halasuru lake

  • The development of a dinner cruise project at Halasuru Lake in Bengaluru on PPP mode.
  • Halasuru Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Bengaluru, located in the north-eastern fringe of the city, close to the eastern terminus of M.G. Road. It is spread across an area of 123.6 acres at a cost of Rs 40 crores.
( Source : deccan chronicle )
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