The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Branded life in virgin town

Calcutta, July 30: New Town, the government’s showcase for urban development in this neck of the woods, was set rolling today with the announcement that the first set of condominiums is ready and 360 apartments would be handed to owners next week.

“We are going to send the notices for occupation to the owners from next week. The owners, chosen by lottery, are from across the state and abroad. They can move in any time they feel like,” said Kumar Shankar Bagchi, the managing director of Bengal Peerless Housing Development Company, which developed Animikha, the Rs 47-crore complex spread over 5 acres, over the past three years.

Animikha will be formally commissioned on Sunday in what will be the fruition of the first public-private partnership in housing in Rajarhat, being billed as the most modern township in the state.

Three more housing ventures will be commissioned in New Town in the days ahead. In 2001, five acres each were allotted to Bengal Peerless, Bengal Ambuja, Bengal Shrachi and the state housing board to develop residential complexes.

“Animikha is a statement of our government’s intent to modernise Calcutta. Just see how we do it. The other projects (of Bengal Ambuja and Bengal Shrachi) will be completed soon,” housing development minister Goutam Deb told The Telegraph.

Bengal Peerless, it is learnt, is set to engage tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi as a brand ambassador for its projects in Rajarhat. Having completed Animikha, the company has drawn up plans for a Rs 65-crore multiplex. Bagchi said the foundation stone would be laid in December.

“Mahesh Bhupathi is already helping us in talking to brands like Nike for setting up shop here,” Bagchi said,

The multiplex will house a sports block with a swimming pool, an ice skating rink and bowling alleys and a shopping mall, food plaza and banquet halls. The architecture would be an Indo-Austrian blend.

The housing complex would cater to all classes, Bagchi said. Out of 360 flats, 176 will be for the high-income group. These apartments, from 950 to 1,450 square feet, are priced between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 19 lakh. There are 120 flats measuring 650 square feet with a price tag of Rs 5.75 lakh for the middle-income group. Sixty-four flats have been allocated for the low-income bracket.

Aahrini, which will house a vegetable market, a banquet hall, a roof-top restaurant, community halls and children’s park, would cater to the residents’ everyday needs.

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