Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Shripad Yesso Naik on Friday announced the setting up of a cultural hub in Mumbai on the lines of New York’s Times Square.
Mr Naik announced that the ministry will sanction Rs. 5 crore to the Maharashtra tourism department for the first phase of the project.
He said this amount will be over and above what the state government will spend on creating the basic infrastructure to “incentivise private sector parties to invest in the project”.
“Kala Ghoda (in south Mumbai) is being seen as the location best suited for creating the heritage and culture hub, mostly open air as it provides popular entertainment to tourists and locals,” a ministry statement said.
Some of the project highlights include a 15 foot flagpole on which the Tricolour will be hoisted. Made of transparent plastic, the pole will be lit from the inside.
Large electronic billboards will allow corporates to advertise their products. Drinking water fountains with reverse osmosis-treated water will help discourage people from bringing plastic water bottles and in turn reduce litter.
Characters from popular Indian cartoons and films will walk around the area for photo opportunities with visitors. In addition, there will be street performances.