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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Sites for trade hub shift

The chaotic and congested wholesale markets ' Burrabazar, Posta, Mechhua and Baithakkhana ' are set to shift out of the city.

As part of its decongest-the-city drive, the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government has selected two spots in Rajarhat and Dankuni for shifting the trading hubs. At a meeting earlier this month, Bhattacharjee had asked chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb to speed up the process.

The vegetable market on Sealdah's Baithakkhana Road and the fruit market at Mechhua will be shifted to Dankuni, where a truck terminal and a wholesale market complex will be built through a joint venture with the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority on a 50-acre plot.

The wholesale markets in the Posta-Burrabazar belt will be shifted to Rajarhat, where the government has selected a 100-acre plot near New Town to build a truck terminal-cum- trading complex. The investment for the project has been pegged at Rs 70 crore.

Officials are mulling two options for building the Rajarhat terminal. The transport department will build the terminal and hand it over to a private firm or the project will be implemented through a joint venture.

Once the markets are shifted out, goods-laden vehicles will not have to enter the city. 'The trucks, coming from the districts and other states, will stop at Rajarhat and Dankuni. From there, the goods will be brought into the city in smaller vehicles,' transport secretary Sumantra Chowdhury said on Sunday. 'We will provide all amenities to transporters and traders. All traders in the present markets will get space at the new addresses.'

He asserted that once the Rajarhat terminal is ready ' probably in a year ' entry of goods vehicles in Burrabazar and Sealdah will be banned. 'If we can do that, the congestion on MG Road, Brabourne Road, Rabindra Sarani and CR Avenue will be drastically reduced. Moreover, the roads will remain clean.'

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