The V-Guard group, a south-based power stabilizer maker, has shelved plans to set up two amusement parks with an aggregate investment of up to Rs 1,200 crore because of land acquisition problems.
The company, which operates two amusement parks — ‘Wonderla’ in Bangalore and ‘Veegaland’ in Kochi — was planning a new theme amusement park along the Mumbai-Pune highway with an investment of Rs 150–200 crore and and a major expansion exercise in Kochi, including a convention centre and a hotel, at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore.
The group has dropped its plans of setting up a water theme amusement park near Panvel in Navi Mumbai, following the phenomenal rise of land prices at the proposed site, V-Guard Executive Director Mithun Chittilappally said. "About one-and-a-half years ago, we had acquired over 60 acres at Rs 4-5 lakh per acre at the planned site, but property prices in the area shot up to more than Rs 40 lakh per acre due to special economic zones and the proposed international airport. We require about 150 acres more. But, at the current price, it is unviable to pursue the project in Panvel," he said. Further, some of the adjacent land that the company planned to acquire have come under the proposed Navi Mumbai and Maha Mumbai SEZ projects of the Mukesh Ambani Group.
V-Guard is planning to sell off the acquired property and shift the project to Tamil Nadu, where the state government has assured to offer the necessary support
Chittilapally said Tamil Nadu was preferred for the project because Veegaland and Wonderla enjoy good brand equity in south India. More than 15-20 per cent of the visitors to these two parks are from Tamil Nadu, he added. If the company sells the 60 acres at the prevailing market rate, it will make a profit of around Rs 20 crore.