Delhi Eye fails to get a second glance
New Delhi: Delhi Eye, the 200-foot Ferris wheel on the Yamuna banks, which was a regular sight for many taking the route between Kalindi Kunj and Noida, no more forms a part of the skyline in south Delhi. A water park is now under construction in its place.
Owners of the structure, which was constructed on the lines of Ferris wheels in London and Singapore, said that “licensing issues and a poor environment” failed to give the ride the momentum they had hoped for and they were forced to dismantle it four months ago.
“We took inspiration from the London Eye on the Thames riverbank and started work on the Delhi Eye along the Yamuna in 2010,” said Syed Salim, director of iZara Entertainment.
This idea proved detrimental as a court-appointed committee overseeing encroachments on Yamuna deemed it illegal, claiming that it fell within the 300m strip along the river where private and commercial construction was disallowed.
Salim said that he encountered a lot of trouble and it took them three years to get the necessary licensing and permission before the ride could open in 2014. “When the ride did open, our local partners backed off. It could never gain popularity and we were trapped. We had paid Rs 70 crore to Dutch Wheels and Venkoma Rides, which has built such structures across the world,” he said.
Asked why the structure never found favour among Delhiites, Salim blamed it on the “poor environment of the adjacent Kalindi Kunj Park”. “The ticket prices were from Rs 150 to Rs 250, which was quite reasonable. But since the area around it had no other attraction, not many were keen on taking the ride. If the park was better looking and kept clean, families would have enjoyed their time and used it as an ideal picnic spot,” he said.
While many blame poor accessibility and traffic snarls for the lack of interest shown by customers, Salim denied it. “The area as such was not an issue for the ride’s failure as people often take this route to travel between south Delhi and Noida,” he claimed.
The ride had 36 air-conditioned cabins which could accommodate 288 people and provide a bird’s eye view of popular sites like Akshardham Temple, Lotus Temple and Humayun’s Tomb within 20 minutes.