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Green light for riverside park

The second phase of the Millennium Park expansion scheme may soon see the light of day, with the Centre sanctioning Rs 1.96 crore.

State urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya told newspersons at the Assembly on Thursday: “The amount will be used to beautify the 300-metre stretch between Fairlie Place and Rabindra Setu.”

The decision to sanction the amount was taken at a meeting of the National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) in New Delhi on Wednesday. Bhattacharya had attended the meeting as a member of the steering committee constituted by the NRCD to implement riverfront schemes across the country.

The state government had long planned to expand the park up to Rabindra Setu, but was stopped in its tracks by objections raised by the Calcutta Port Trust (CPT).

“When I met Union minister for shipping Shatrughan Sinha in Delhi on Wednesday, he assured me that he would take up the matter with the CPT. He also gave me a clean chit for the expansion scheme prepared by us,” Bhattacharya said.

The CPT’s objection counts, as the park will come up on its land. But Sinha reportedly told Bhattacharya that the Centre was satisfied with the first phase and assured him that though the land belongs to the CPT, getting the green signal from the Centre would “not be a problem”.

The CMDA had constructed the park in 2001 at a cost of Rs 2 crore. Several private firms and public sector undertakings had donated and sponsored a number of entertainment items in the park.

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