Is P.C. Sorcar building the Sky Wheel in Mysore?


VIKRAM MUTHANNA writes: I read in the news that Mysore will be the third city in the world, yes in the world, to get a ‘Sky Wheel,’ a super-sized giant wheel. There are supposedly only two other cities in the world that have this—Singapore has the ‘Singapore Flyer’ and London has the ‘London Eye.’ However, there is one also at Niagara Falls.

Well, soon we too will have a very creatively named ‘Mysore Eye.’

The very thought of how high it would be made me giddy, and it wasn’t just that, but how inconceivable an idea it was.

Then I continued to read the news report. It said that it would be completed under Rs 30 crore.

Oh! I started feeling a little shaky and wobbly now, then even more good news—it will be completed in four months. That’s it. I collapsed with laughter.

We have just gotten over the high of getting a bullet train and now this Mysore Eye literally will take us high.

Who is kidding whom here?

The Mysore Eye supposedly will have air-conditioned cabins that will fit four people and as the wheel rotates slowly the foursome can enjoy the panoramic view of the city’s places of tourist interest, upto a radius of 20 kms.

One official said, “We will be able to see Ranganathittu bird sanctuary, Srirangapatna, KRS, Chamundi Hill, Mysore Palace, Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens and Karanji Lake.”

Great, wonderful but wait a minute, can’t we get an aerial view of all these from Chamundi Hill itself?

Can they build a giant wheel taller than the Chamundi Hill?

It is baffling as to why a small city like Mysore, which has a beautiful hill within the City limits, needs to have a giant wheel to view the city? London has the London Eye as it has many grander heritage buildings and modern architectural wonders that can be viewed and enjoyed better from a high point.

And since in London and Singapore — unlike in New York which has high rise buildings like the Empire State building which the public can access to view the city skyline — there is no such high rise building that the public can access and also the fact that there is no high ground within these cities from where one can view the city, the London Eye and Singapore Flyer serve this purpose.

But Mysore has a hill at its heart which is bigger, better and safer than a super-sized giant wheel built in a hurry. If anyone wants to have an aerial view, they simply have to drive up Chamundi Hill and it’s free, unlike the Rs 500-600 they will be charged for sitting in the Mysore Eye.

Also, tourists who come to Mysore visit Chamundi Hill anyway. So why will they pay extra money to see the same aerial view?

Now about the cost. First off, the London Eye was a private venture; it is owned by Merlin Entertainments group and they pay a substantial rent to the government, which goes to the London city coffers. But our Mysore Eye is a government venture, paid for by the taxpayers’ money and to be built by Innovative Studio Pvt. Ltd.

To build London Eye it cost Rs 640 crore, the Singapore Flyer cost Rs 720 crore. Now we want to know how is it that our officials are going to build something on the same lines, something world class, with just Rs 30 crore.

Then there is the time issue. The London Eye took two years to build, the Singapore Flyer a good three years; but our men are going to finish it in four months. Wow! Our officials are going to build what took two efficient nations around three years and over Rs 700 crores in just four months and with just Rs. 30 crore.

It makes us wonder if magician P.C. Sorcar is the contractor.

Either that or we are getting a Mysore Eye that is nothing like the London Eye they say it will be like.

So, like the other two, will our fancy giant wheel also run into cost over-runs and remain incomplete — like the aquarium, like the ring road, like the broadgauge, like the Raja Marga amongst other delayed projects? When it comes to project management, we have heard of the concept: under-promise and over-deliver.

But it seems when our officials get into project management, their concept is: over-promise and never-deliver.

Then the safety issue. When you hurry, you have reasons to worry. We have to ask how safe will a sophisticated feat of engineering with high technology inputs be when it’s built in a short time and with a tight budget?

In a country like Singapore itself, the super-sized giant wheel has been stopped a few times. Notably once for over six hours when the wheel stopped moving and 173 people were trapped. Some of them had to be rescued using slings and ropes. Are we ready with the rescue plan?

It is said that this project has been in planning for three years. Really? It took them three years to come up with a giant wheel but they need only four months to build it? And in three years the best name they could come up with was ‘Mysore Eye’ after ‘London Eye’?

This seems like a project conceived in a hurry so it could be made part of the Global Investors’ Meet-2012.

Also if it is so viable, why didn’t Innovative Studios present the project to the government to build it themselves with their own money, pay the Karnataka Exhibition Authority (KEA) rent and make money on ticket sales like London Eye? This questions Mysore Eye’s financial viability.

Instead of investing in a non-viable giant wheel, may be it would be better if the government creates a spacious viewing area upon Chamundi Hill with reasonably priced tickets, which also houses coin binoculars and clean toilets. It will cost much less, will be much safer and the visual range, we are sure, will be longer than a giant wheel.

Oh, Lord! How much more misguided ‘good news’ can we Mysoreans handle? Let the Karnataka Exhibition Authority first increase the number of toilets and keep them clean at the Exhibition Grounds. Let them increase the security and protect the women from eve-teasers in the Exhibition. Let them organise and make transparent the tendering process first and then they can talk about ‘Mysore Eye.’

Until then, which we are sure will be a long time to come, the KEA can be rest assured that there is nothing better than our god-given Mysore Eye — the Chamundi Hill.

Photograph: Kingfisher flight IT2404 landing in Mysore, with the Chamundi Hills in the backdrop, on its inaugural journey in October 2010 (Karnataka Photo News)

Also read: Who wants a 4-lane road to Chamundi hills?

Who the hell wants a bullet train to Bangalore?


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17 Responses to “Is P.C. Sorcar building the Sky Wheel in Mysore?”

  1. Annabond Says:

    Nice article. Mysore city corporations effort remembers me of a phrase in Tulu language “ಬೇಲೆ ಇಜ್ಜ್ಯಾಂದಿನ ಆಚಾರಿ ಬಾಲೆದ ಪೀಂಕಾಣ್ ಕೆತ್ತಿಯೇ” -it means “The carpenter who had any better work to do, chipped off baby’s ass”

  2. vasudev Says:

    A very interesting/humorous article by VM like the many others every week. I guess there are too many evil eyes which have ruined the Royal Mysore that we grew up in. Is there any need for one more eye that can lead to a few karodpathis and many casualties because of the way it has been planned – from start to finish in four months? How sad people are so gullible…………..

  3. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    Use that money to buy and renovate the magnificent heritage mansions on Lalita Mahal Road, which are being demolished one by one to build ugly apartments. Imagine the road full of beautiful buildings, each with a hotel, art gallery or museum. Instead, our clowns in charge want to promote one gimmick after another – the Chamundi hill trolley comes to mind as the last example.

    In general the Indian way to promote tourism seems to be either to a) build a gimmick or b) build insular resorts where people can escape the true beauty of the country. There is no pride in showcasing the real life of our people.

  4. M Says:

    Sometime ago I saw a scale model for a proposed High-Tech city in Tumkur. It had a ‘marina’ with several 100-200 feet yatchs!

  5. asha Says:

    Somebody is eyeing for prime real estate in Mysore……no body in their right mind will believe that this project can be completed in the said duration and cost…..unless the government officials who bought this idea are brain dead and knows zilch about running projects

  6. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Annabond, Same in kannada: “Kelasavilladha badagi maguvina mukli ketthidha”

    At least the badagi’s problem with an idle mind.
    This seems to be a willful attempt to loot some money in addition to chipping the baby’s ass.

    Oh well, what to expect from us besides this:

    As they say in hindi:
    Andher nagari chaupat raja.

  7. BangaloreBaba Says:

    This is so silly. It won’t happen, there is no point worrying about it. It won’t even get off the ground.

    If a private entrepreneur feels that having a “giant eye” in Mysore will be a tourist attraction and will fetch him returns, let such an entrepreneur go ahead and build as many wheels as he wants. The government can keep its slimy hands off such projects.

  8. Srikanta Says:

    It can be a treadmill to generate power; get tourists to pedal and see the sight; you charge them and yet make power(money).

  9. Chaddi Banyan Says:

    After rearranging the letters a little, “Mysore Eye” becomes “My Eyesore”

  10. Anand Says:

    Vikram’s line ” can’t we get an aerial view of all these from Chamundi Hill itself? …says it all ! Mysoreans must reject this proposal right away..

  11. M Says:

    @ Chaddi Banyan.

    you can also rearrange MYSORE EYE as

    or drop MY and make it


    P.S: BJP is coming up with all sorts of brain teasers. Surely they are a party of intellectuals.

  12. Sanjeeva Says:

    I demand such sky wheels should be built in every town of Karnataka!

  13. the colonel Says:


    if you ask the bjp what is the sum of six zeros they’ll say “Ten Lakhs”

  14. N S Says:

    First it was Nehru Loka. and then it was ROPEWAY to Chamundi Hills. Now it is My Sore EYE. And what next…the way the Corporation works…God only knows…For a change a new Commissioner has taken charge of this Royal City….Hope for the better..

  15. Kennedy Says:

    Well, we know the people who have announced this project. Seems like they will bring a giant wheel from Dasara Exhibition (on contract), put it on a platform and call it Mysore Eye. And pocket the money.

    KEA is an absolutely useless body. What is the achievement of KEA or its Chairman? I have never seen KEA doing anything in Kar other than Mysore Dasara exhibition. And the Chairman is part of all protests in Mysore where we can see him shouting or sleeping on the streets.

    To the proposers of this project, Mysoreans should say ‘uski maa ki aankh…’ as we hear in ‘Sultan’s school of speechu’ on FM in Bangalore.

  16. MA Deviah Says:

    It will probably be another version of the so called Madras Eye. While the Madras Eye makes your eyes turn red, Mysore Eye will turn probably have the eyes turn yellow. From having shit on your face!

  17. Lalat Indu Misra Says:

    Instead of Mysore Eye, plz focus on getting proper infrastructure like Roads, protecting Heritage buildings, upgradation of Railway station, and proper connectivity to Mysore Airport.

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