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Light-up time for landmarks
- GPO heads civic night illumination list

General Post Office (GPO) will glow at night, so will other landmarks in the heritage zone of BBD Bag.

The Calcutta Municipal Corporation has drawn up a plan to illuminate around 200 heritage buildings across the city, starting with the GPO and other edifices in its vicinity, and a fund of Rs 5 crore has been created with contributions from private donors for the purpose.

The 200-odd buildings on the light-up list belong to the A-1 category of heritage structures. There are around 900 other heritage buildings of various categories in the city.

The civic authorities have decided to extend financial assistance to the owners of heritage buildings for the illumination, municipal commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay said on Friday.

The cost of illuminating the GPO will be around Rs 36 lakh, and talks on sharing of funds are on between Bandyopadhyay and postmaster-general Monojit Kumar. On the commissioner’s request, Kumar is likely to arrange a presentation of the illumination scheme before the mayor at the civic headquarters next week.

“At an earlier meeting, the commissioner had offered financial support if the GPO authorities took up a scheme to illuminate the building. We, accordingly, approached Philips India Limited, which gave us a presentation of the illumination design on June 29,” said Kumar.

The second building to be lit up under the scheme is the civic headquarters on SN Banerjee Road. “A Chinese technology solution provider has approached me for the illumination of the central municipal building,” said mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya. “I will request the state government to undertake a similar project for Writers’ Buildings.”

For other state heritage buildings, the civic body will take up the illumination scheme if the public works department agrees to foot the power bill, Bandyopadhyay said.

The civic authorities plan to approach the CESC for a subsidised power tariff for the decorative lighting of the heritage structures.

Explaining the reason for launching the illumination drive, commissioner Bandyopadhyay said the city is dotted with “century-old magnificent structures” like the GPO, high court, Currency Building and the Treasury Building. While the architectural beauty of the edifices can be appreciated by day, they look like haunted houses at night for want of a proper illumination system, he pointed out.

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