Mumbai’s Juhu Beach to have water sports centre
If all goes according to the plan, Mumbai’s extremely popular Juhu Beach will soon have a state-of-the-art water sports centre. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), which had invited expression of interest in July last year for setting up of the adventure sports centre at Juhu, will award the contract to the successful bidder in a month’s time.
“Five bidders had submitted their proposals after we floated the tender last year. Soon, we will soon issue a No-Objection Certificate to the successful bidder, who will develop the infrastructure, including purchase of equipment and construction of jetty, for the project," said MTDC’s adventure sports manager Subodh Kinalekar.
The five bidders are Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt. Ltd, Causeway Marine India Pvt. Ltd, Aquatic Sports Private Ltd, Goa, GB Jain and Sons, Nanded and Emirate Shipping Ltd, which has already won the bid for a similar sports facility in Vashi.
The bidder will be allowed to run the facility for five years after which there will be a re-tender. Once completed, the project will offer adventure buffs facilities such as jet skiing, sailing, parasailing, among others. An array of vessels such as speed boats and banana boats will be made available to add to the experience. Currently, Girgaum is the only beach in the city that has a full-fledged water sports centre.
While the MTDC will not shell out any money for the project, the corporation will help the bidder procure permissions from the collector department and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB). Last week, the state government had asked the MTDC to expedite the process of appointing a private player for the project after the high court, on January 12, disposed off a plea filed by a previous operator against fresh bids, Kinalekar said.
However, the project may run into troubled waters as local citizen groups, who had successfully undertaken the ‘Save Juhu Beach’ campaign, have opposed the facility. According to Juhu activists Hansel D’Souza, the High Court order bars commercial exploitation of the beach.
Asked about D’Souza’s contention, Kinalekar said, “We are not aware of any court order against the sports facility. However, we will study the order that the residents are pointing to and ensure that there is no violation of the court’s order.”