India’s first underwater restaurant in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad has been sealed by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) after they discovered that certain development permissions had not been approved.
Devang Desai, Deputy Municipal Commissioner said that, “The restaurant will be issued a notice and we will seal it on Thursday because it has not sought the mandatory development permission under the town planning rules. The seal will remain in place until it seeks the necessary approvals needed under town planning rules. We will not allow it to operate otherwise.”
According to the fire department and the AMC, the theme restaurant that seats 32 persons has 1.50 lakh-litre capacity aquarium built 20-feet below ground level. The vegetarian restaurant, built at a cost of Rs 2 crore, has about 4,500 fish and marine species on 3,000 sq ft property. It offered Punjabi, Chinese, Mexican and Thai cuisine. Its owner Bharat Bhatt, 50, had plans to include a variety of exotic marine species in the near future. Bhatt earlier claimed that he had taken all necessary permissions from the health department.
There were two problems, one with the circulation that made the water inside the aquarium sandy making it difficult for fishes to be seen. Besides, there was an unexpected rush of people and calls for bookings throughout the day. There were also other small problems like an exposed air conditioning wire that was a small eyesore and customers suggested that we conceal it. We are taking care of unfinished work, he said.
The restaurant offered Punjabi, Chinese, Mexican and Thai cuisine. The owner also had plans to add more marine species to the aquarium.
I am yet to visit the restaurant. We have not given any permission to the restaurant. It needs to have permission from the department for fire in case of emergencies like flooding of water and emergency exits. I learnt about the restaurant from media reports.
He added, “I got the idea of the restaurant from my son who is just about 12 years old. His friends had been to a similar restaurant in Dubai. I have designed the entire restaurant myself. I had even planned underwater walkways with fishes inside. However, that did not work out.”