Lonavala (Maharashtra), May 7 (IANS) A swank, modern and affordable water park, which opened near this hill station, marks the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation's (MTDC) maiden foray into the amusement sector to boost tourism in the state, an official said here Monday.
The Karla Resort Water Park (KRWP), barely 25 km from Lonavala, is MTDC's first venture into this sector after having a rich experience of water sports, houseboats, tents and tree-house vacations, snorkelling and scuba-diving options, beaches, forts and other off-beat tourist attractions.
Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, while inaugurating the KRWP here - constructed at a cost of Rs.36 million - said it would be open to all tourists and locals at extremely affordable rates.
Presently, there are around two dozen private water parks dotting the state, but mostly around Mumbai, Thane and Pune, which charge high entry fees making it virtually off-bounds for middle or lower middle classes of the population.
The KRWP encompasses the ever-popular Crazy Pool Slides, Float Slides, Multi-lane Slides, Mini-Aqua Trail, Multipurpose Water Play Systems, Water Fall, Wave Pool, Family Slides and Water Umbrellas for the tourists thronging the nearby Lonavala-Khandala twin-hill resorts round the year.
Bhujbal dismissed contentions that the water park would drain the already scarce water resources in the state and said that it would use only purified and recycled water.
'Besides, we must bear in mind that each tourist who comes to the state provides employment to 40 and 60 people directly and indirectly,' Bhujbal pointed out.
Incidentally, this is yet another major tourist attraction added to Lonavala and Khandala which boast of a cool, salubrious climate amidst stunning greenery.
The Karla Caves, Celebrity Wax Museum, the famous Bhushy Dam, lofty hills and deep valleys, lush green maidans and other places offer different avenues of relaxation for the tourists.