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Decks have been cleared for an international tourism complex-cum-world class aquarium project, the first of its kind in the country, to come up at Mumbai's Worli, officials said on Monday.

The mega-project, spread across 14.55 acres at the Worli Dairy Complex near the Rajiv Gandhi Bandra Worli Sea Link, and costing around Rs. 1,000 crore is slated for completion by December 2023.

Kickstarting the project, the Maharashtra government has issued an official notification for transferring the prime sea-facing chunk of land, currently in the possession of the state Dairy Development Department to the Revenue Department and finally, to the Urban Development Department.

With the aquarium project starting soon, the existing Worli Dairy and the office of the Dairy Development Commissioner will be shifted to the Aarey Milk Colony in Goregaon in northwest Mumbai, an official said.

The new tourism-cum-aquarium complex is one of the major show-piece initiatives of the Maha Vikas Aghadi with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar taking keen interest to boost domestic and international visitors to the state.

Presently, Mumbai has the famed D. B. Taraporevala Aquarium at Marine Drive, which showcases different types of marine life from India and other parts of the world, attracting over 400,000 visitors annually.

Built in 1951 and renovated in 2015, it is the oldest aquarium in the country displaying over 2,000 fishes from 400 species of seawater or fresh-water creatures. It is likely to continue undisturbed after the new aquarium project materialises.

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