The Indian tourism and hospitality industry is an emerging key driver of growth in the services sectors. It makes for 12.5% of the National GDP and provides nearly 9% of the total employment in India. It didn’t take long for India to catch up with emerging global hospitality trend and in this continuous process; the segment has been reinventing itself to lure more customers.
Proving that global themes are fast catching up, India got its first underwater restaurant, Real Poseidon, in Ahmedabad on February 1. But unfortunately, just three days later, the eatery was sealed by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) for lack of necessary building use permit.
Allegedly, Real Poseidon was launched without the necessary development permission from the civic authority. The brain child of Ahmedabad-based businessman, Bharat Bhatt, this first-of-its-kind eatery was created 20 feet under the ground. The unique restaurant was covered with a huge aquarium with 4,000 species of fish. The 32-seater food hub was named after sea god Poseidon from the Greek mythology, who lords over the ocean with a trident in his hand.
Bhatt claimed that he had taken all necessary permissions from the health department, fire department and the AMC. But the civic body refuted Bhatt’s claims and said no permission was sought from them.
Chief Fire Officer MF Dastur said, “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.”
Apparently, Real Poseidon closed down just a day after it opened due to leaks in the aquarium. But the owner denied the allegations and said, “There was a problem with the circulation that made the water inside the aquarium sandy making it difficult for the fishes to be seen. There were also other small problems like an exposed air conditioning wire that was a small eyesore and customers suggested that we conceal it.”
It’s a classic case of a real good entrepreneurial idea going bust due to red tape and necessary advanced trials.