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Pact with Unitech for township scrapped

Siliguri, Jan. 19: The Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority today decided to terminate a contract with a Calcutta-based company to develop a major portion of an upcoming township at Kawakhali as the group failed to pay for the land it had acquired.

The Bengal Unitech Universal Siliguri Projects Limited, a company floated by the Unitech Group, had taken possession of 232 acres two years back to build residential and commercial complexes in the satellite township of Siliguri.

“They paid Rs 90 crore and were supposed to give a further sum of Rs 126 crore in two installments of Rs 63 crore. We sent repeated reminders to them and are charging interest for the delay in the payment,” said state urban development minister and SJDA chairperson Asok Bhattacharya.

“We recently noticed that the company has been laid-back and so, decided to terminate the contract.”

Kawakhali, 4km from here, is the second place to be developed as a township near Siliguri after Uttarayon.

The Kawakhali township is proposed to be spread over 302 acres and hospitals and colleges are coming up on the rest of the land. The land was acquired by the SJDA from around 1,400 people.

The minister said all efforts would be made to complete the project.

“We are sincere in building the township. The contract was scrapped because of the delay on the part of the Bengal Unitech to pay the money. We will definitely wait for the company’s reply and then decide on the future course of action,” he said.

Officials of the Bengal Unitech’s office in Calcutta could not be contacted.

The SJDA has also decided to construct a railway over-bridge at Ghumtee 4 in Jalpaiguri to ease traffic snarls in the area.

“Besides, we have sent proposals to the railways to develop manned level-crossings at Mahabirstan and Bagrakote in Siliguri and Ambari in Jalpaiguri district. But the railways have asked for Rs 4 crore to build the manned level-crossing at Mahabirstan. They said Rs 84 lakh would be needed for the construction of the gate and the remaining amount was meant to pay salaries to those manning the gate for the next 10 years. We are ready to pay Rs 84 lakh but will ask the railways to bear the remaining expenses,” said Bhattacharya.

He added that the SJDA would spend money to build the railway gates at Ambari and Bagrakote.

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