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Only one taker for aquarium

Two years and four tenders later, the giant aquarium that was proposed at Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park in Ormanjhi is back to where it was — on paper.

This time too, the zoo authorities’ efforts to find a suitable agency to build the showpiece have come a cropper with only one company responding to the technical bid that were opened on Monday.

“It is beyond my understanding as to why specialised agencies aren’t willing to construct the freshwater aquarium. Earlier, the advertisements that we published were within the state. But this time, we floated tenders in three other places — Delhi, Calcutta and Bhubaneswar. Yet, just one party from Ahmedabad responded. The bid stands nullified as there is no competitor,” said zoo director A.K. Patra.

The aquarium was mooted along with a butterfly park over two years ago. Since July 2011, three tenders had been floated for the twin attractions, but eventually, no company got selected. The butterfly park was dropped from the development plan in the 2013-14 financial year and a separate tender was taken out this year for only the aquarium.

According to Patra, some basic civil works for the facility, which is estimated to cost over a crore, were underway. “But we need an expert agency to build the aquarium’s glass portion. It’s a specialised task as it includes quarantine tanks, aqua-scaping, electrical works. A tender will be again floated within a month. Our target is to get the aquarium ready by March, 2014,” he said.