Nicco Park, Bhubaneswar
About Nicco Park
Concept and construction
The concept of an amusement park in Kolkata began with the 300th anniversary of the recorded founding of Kolkata (then Calcutta). While planning was under way for the tricentennial celebrations by the ruling State Government, Rajive Kaul, the current Chairman of Nicco Group, was in the US on a family holiday to Disneyland. As per the story, when Kaul returned, there was an inquiry as to why he left for America when he was very much required back home for the planning process. Supposedly, Rajive replied, "I'd gone to see if I could create a Disneyland here." What at first seemed to be just an excuse to justify his absence actually materialized to a joint venture with the West Bengal government.
After the inception of the idea, the Government of West Bengal along with Rajive Kaul followed through with their commitment to build an amusement park in Kolkata. They set up the company Nicco Parks & Resorts Ltd. (NPRL) which was a Joint Sector Company between National Insulated Cable Corporation Ltd. (now, Nicco Corporation Ltd.) representing the private sector and the Government of West Bengal represented by West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation Limited (WBIDC) and West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Limited (WBTDC) on 17 March 1989. The Certificate of Commencement of Business was obtained on 31 March 1989. The primary function of the company was to construct an amusement part in the outskirts of Kolkata, which would be owned and maintained by Nicco Parks and Resorts Limited (NPRL). The project had additional input in the form of technical advice from Blackpool Leisure & Amusement Consultancy Ltd., U.K. Rajive Kaul sought financial help from Geoffrey Thompson, the then-owner and managing director of the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool. Thompson, however, only offered the assistance of Blackpool Leisure & Amusement Consultancy Ltd provide technical expertise, including surveying the land and suggesting design and safety matters. The idea of the River Caves at Nicco Park was taken by Kaul from Thompson's Blackpool, and a few years later Kaul offered to renovate the ones there recognizing the superiority of the ones at Nicco Park, Kolkata. Thompson accepted the offer.Two years after the conception of NPRL, and at a total cost of about rupees 8 crores, Nicco Park opened with 13 rides. It also took over the toy train from the previous Jheelmeel park and improved greatly upon it, providing for a tour of the whole park for passengers.