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Stop-work at girls’ college

The civic authorities have slapped a ‘stop-work’ notice on the construction of a proposed girls’ college at 73, Muktaram Babu Street, after receiving a notice from the government’s urban land ceiling department. Seventy-one pillars have already been erected for what was to be a four-storeyed college building on a sprawling 17-cottah vacant plot.

The government had asked the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) not to allow mutation or construction by anyone on the premises of which the civic authorities had mutated the land and sanctioned construction in favour of Azad Bahvan Mahila Kanya Vidyalaya in 1998.

The government got into the act following a mass petition from local residents. They also wrote to mayor Subrata Mukherjee, pointing this out and alleging the involvement of some “unscrupulous promoters”, but no action was taken by the civic authorities.

“We even wrote to municipal commissioner Debasis Som, pointing out that the CMC land had also been grabbed during amalgamation of the four plots about a year ago. But despite the municipal commissioner’s order, no joint inspection has been carried out by the civic estate department,” said Biplab Gupta, one of the signatories to the mass petition.

Milapchand Dugar, one of the promoters of the project, said: “This is a Rs 2-crore project for setting up a private English-medium college for 500 girls, with arts, science and commerce facilities… Since it is the property of a Trust, it does not come under the purview of the urban land ceiling Act. We don’t know why some residents of the area are out to create trouble for this educational project.”

Member, mayor-in-council (building) Swapan Samaddar said the sanction had been granted on the basis of documents submitted to the civic body. “If we find that the sanction was obtained by suppressing facts and documents, the plan will surely be cancelled. We cannot term it an illegal construction until we cancel the sanction for the construction proposal… I have inspected the site along with director-general (building) following the urban land ceiling department’s notice last week.”

Residents of the area, however, allege the proposed college exists on signboard alone. “The foundation for the building suggests that it will be a commercial complex, not a college,” claimed Gupta.

According to civic records, four plots of land were amalgamated in January 1981. And in the assessment records, Azad Bahvan Mahila Kanya Vidyalaya is clearly mentioned as the owner of the amalgamated plots.

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