Nagpur: Aaditya Thackeray, state minister for tourism and environment, has cleared guardian minister Nitin Raut’s ambitious plan for a Buddhist Theme Park around Futala Lake. The Rs1,000 crore park would be allocated Rs200 crore in each annual budget, said Thackeray, and the state will try to get a World Bank loan for it.
The park will include a 115 feet high statue of Lord Buddha, inside the lake but quite close to the bank. The statue will be on the west side of the lake and face the waterfront (on east side).
The park will have 64 viharas, two caves with Buddhist paintings and sculptures, interpretation centre, research centre, resort with 35 rooms, amphitheatre for 3,500 people, sculpture park, landscapes garden, theme exhibit halls, food court, art and craft village, children’s play area etc.
The project proposes to start boating in the lake, with ghats and jetty for the purpose. A promenade would be constructed near the ghat.
Raut has planned the park with an eye on Buddhist tourists. Prominent Buddhist locations – Deekshabhoomi (where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to Buddhism in 1956), Dragon Palace Temple and Naglok are also located in Nagpur.
Ashok Mokha, who designed the project, said not a single tree will be felled for the project. “We will instead plant more trees. It is a very environment friendly project,” he added. A nursery and conservatory are included in the project.
Thackeray also cleared an energy education park at Koradi. The park will be built by Raut’s energy department but its marketing will be done by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). Officials of tourism, environment, agriculture departments etc were present in the meeting.
While Raut is building Buddhist Theme Park on three sides of Futala Lake, Union minister Nitin Gadkari is setting up a multimedia laser show and building a spectator gallery on the west side of the lake. The shops on the waterfront were demolished and the gallery is coming up there. After these projects are complete, Futala will become a hang out spot but the ecology of the lake may be endangered.