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Pact paves path for trade fair complex

Calcutta’s dream of having its own permanent trade fair complex has moved closer to reality, following a multi-layered accord involving the government, the civic authorities and an industry lobby on a large plot earmarked for the project along the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.

Mayor Subrata Mukherjee said on Monday that the Indian Crafts Village Trust, a wing of the the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had agreed to give up its claim to a large portion of the land earmarked for setting up the complex, under the West Bengal Trade Promotion Organisation (WBTPO).

The Calcutta Municipal Corporation(CMC) will be one of the promoters of the WBTPO by virtue of the land — estimated at Rs 50 crore — owned by it and put up as its equity in the organisation. The other stakeholders are the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation and the India Trade Promotion Organisation. “The Trust has agreed to set up the village on a smaller plot, after giving up its claim to the plot,” Mukherjee said.

The Indian Crafts Village Trust was given 19 acres, a large part of which will now be transferred to the WBTPO for the trade fair complex. Last week, the government informed the Trust that it had accepted the proposals on modalities of transfer of six acres of prime land.

The Trust told the government that it had no qualms about giving away six of the 19 acres of land it had got off the Bypass for a project that would benefit the state and denoted the exact site.

A managing committee meet of the Trust, however, decided to put forward some “reasonable” preconditions for the transfer of the land. The conditions include:

nMaintenance of the larger waterbody will be the government's responsibility

nThe CMDA, given charge of landfill operations at the trade fairground, will also have to take care of the overall planning for the entire site

nThe authorities running the trade fair-ground will also have to take care of a car park and supply of power and water

nThe landscape and architecture of the fairground will have to align with the environs

nThe government will assist the crafts village get the clearances necessary for construction

The government has accepted the Trust’s conditions with “minor modifications”, including the clause that all waterbodies will have to be surrendered to the CMC.

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