With a view to developing Vizag as an attractive tourist spot, Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) is making all-round efforts to complete all tourism intended projects at a breakneck speed. Towards this end, VMRDA will issue tenders for the construction of proposed Kailasagiri planetarium very soon.
The state government under the leadership of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy gave administrative sanction on 25th of December in 2020 for setting up of planetarium on Kailasagiri Hilltop Park with 3D digital 8K full dome of 18 metres with a capacity of 150 to 200 seats at a cost of `37 crore. The VMRDA will leverage the latest technology in the country and a science centre will also be set up as part of it.
Kailasagiri was selected given tourist footfall throughout the year and its strategic location at an altitude of 360 feet above sea level. Footfall at Kailasagiri Hilltop Park is about 10 lakh every year. The planetarium project will be a separate project from the proposed facelift to the hilltop park (which has been allocated Rs 50 crore under a World Bank project).
Speaking to Hello Vizag, VMRDA metropolitan commissioner P Koteswara Rao said, “The planetarium will have a seating capacity of 200. The VMRDA will leverage the latest technology in the country to develop the planetarium. The three-dimensional planetarium will help generate scientific curiosity among the younger generation besides creating scientific knowledge. The planetarium will also help in eradicating superstitious beliefs associated with some celestial events. A science centre will also be a part of the planetarium.”
The urban development authority is currently working on a detailed project report for the hybrid planetarium. VMRDA has entrusted the responsibility of preparing the DPR to the National Council of Science Museums. Further, Rao directed the chief engineer to design and conduct frequent training programs to equip staff with the latest technologies and tools. During a technical committee meeting held yesterday, chaired by VMRDA Commissioner P Koteswara Rao, discussed among other things the dome size and screen, seating capacity, tilt, 2D or 3D picture dimension, type of projectors, content availability for screening, operation and maintenance and training of staff.