The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Basu welcomes private thrust in housing

Mayor Subrata Mukherjee on Tuesday skipped the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a joint-venture housing project of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) and Bengal Silver Spring Project Limited, the private promoter. Mukherjee was to have laid the foundation stone, but the turmoil in the CMC must have kept him away.

Former chief minister Jyoti Basu threw open the project, to come up on eight acres on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. Basu directed praise at the civic body for signing the joint-venture project with a private promoter. “It is not possible for the government alone to provide shelter to the people. Naturally, we want private promoters to join hands with the government,” he said.

Basu, on the other hand, pointed out the problem of maintaining several housing projects carried out by the state government. “It is not very difficult to set up such projects for the people of Calcutta. But it is really difficult to maintain these projects after completion,” he observed. He, however, felt that such a project will encourage other agencies to sign agreements with the state government or government agencies to go in for joint ventures.

Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty and adman Alyque Padamsee were among other dignitaries present. Ten residential towers — six 18-storey high and four of 14 storeys — will accommodate about 500 apartments in the proposed complex. There will be a temperature-controlled swimming pool, shopping complex, car-pool facilities for schoolchildren and office-goers, apart from ATM counters and indoor arenas for cricket, badminton and basketball. Added attractions are a library, coffee shop and a discotheque.

There will be two waterbodies within the complex. The organisers also plan to set up a herbal garden in the complex, which will yield ayurvedic herbs like tulsi and methi. A palm court will provide kids with a sandy island for games in the sun.

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