(MENAFN -Khaleej Times) As many as 12 rare baby sharks ordered from Singapore for India?s first underwater aquarium in Gujarat?s Surat city has had watery graves due to heavy traffic jam on the Mumbai-Surat highway earlier this week.
Two water tanks with the sharks, which had arrived at Chennai from Singapore, had reached Mumbai safely, but the 18-wheeler truck carrying them was stuck in a traffic snarl for several hours before it could be delivered in the diamond city ahead of the February 14 inauguration of the aquarium by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
An Ahmedabad-based senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader who had gone to Surat for preparations for the event told Khaleej Times that the Surat municipal corporation had asked Chennai-based Star Agency to provide 30 sharks in a phased manner with the first lot of the 12 big fish scheduled to be delivered well before the inaugural function.
While the sharks are believed to have died of asphyxiation during the long travel time, Surat-based NGOs claimed that the tragedy could have been prevented if the fish were kept in open pool or a pond in Chennai for a few days before being shifted further to protect them from the transit shock.
The Rs 200-million multi-disciplinary underwater aquarium is spread over 25,722 square meters at an expansive park.
The aquarium will display more than 100 species that includes fresh, brackish, marine water fishes, gold fish, man-eater Piranhas and other local and exotic species kept in 52 specially designed eco-system tanks each of which replicate the respective species’ natural eco-system.
During the first phase of the aquarium, a jellyfish pool and the shark tank will be the key attractions. The shark tanks are two-floor high, 40 feet in length and 30 feet wide and will have water capacity of 700,000 litres.
In the second phase, a tunnel pool aquarium for the dolphins will get under way.