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Posta shift part of city growth vision

A makeover blueprint for the city, spanning two decades, roots for a massive decongestion drive, speedier vehicular movement and a shift of the wholesale markets in the Posta-Burrabazar belt to New Town.

Vision-2025, the 20-year perspective plan for overall development of the Calcutta Metropolitan Area, was approved on Tuesday by Calcutta Metropolitan Planning Committee. The meeting at Writers' Buildings was attended by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya.

Bhattacharjee, chairman of the committee, called for a balanced and integrated development of the city and its adjoining areas and asked the panel to focus on traffic and transportation, slums and environment.

He made it clear that all development projects needed to be approved by the committee and stressed coordination among departments in implementing them.

Urban development minister Bhattacharya said: 'A major thrust of the plan is on decongesting the city by relocating the wholesale markets. The chief minister wants speedy vehicular movement and to make the city cleaner and greener. We plan to shift the Posta-Burrabazar wholesale markets to New Town.'

The government had earlier planned to shift the markets to Kona, but a majority of the traders opposed the move, citing lack of infrastructure there. Officials feel the traders might not refuse to move to the Rajarhat township, which has emerged as one of the best locations with all infrastructure.

Bhattacharya said townships will be set up on Kalyani Expressway and in Baruipur and Dankuni.

The perspective plan covers water supply, sanitation and sewerage, traffic and transportation, healthcare, education, employment generation, environment and housing.

On traffic and transportation, it identifies roads that need to be widened or on which traffic needs to be curbed, and marks areas where flyovers or roads are to be built. The plan also outlines specific schemes, like water-treatment plants and reservoirs, and laying of underground pipelines.

Funds for the projects will be drawn from the budgetary allocations of transport, urban development, environment and public works departments, the Calcutta Municipal Corporation. Additional funds will be sought from the Centre, Asian Development Bank and World Bank, and also from countries like Italy, Germany and France.

The plan panel, formed in 2001, has 60 members, including MPs, MLAs, zilla sabhadhipatis and representatives of the Centre.

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