Sourav Ganguly at Kolkata Literary Meet on Saturday, where in response to a question whether he would be brand ambassador for Bengal sports, he said: “You will have to ask Didi about that.”
The Mamata Banerjee government will allot a two-acre plot in New Town Action Area I to Sourav Ganguly to build a school.
During the Left Front regime the cricketer had failed to build a school in Salt Lake following objections from residents, who fought a legal battle and got a favourable verdict from the apex court.
The state cabinet’s decision on Tuesday to hand him a plot is expected to prepare the pitch for an innings of bonhomie between the Trinamul government and the cricketer, who was once said to be close to the CPM.
Among Sourav’s biggest backers at least till the Left Front was in power was former urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya, of the CPM.
Sources said Asok’s successor in the department, Trinamul’s Firhad Hakim, had played a key role in ensuring that Sourav got a plot for his school. Hakim is said to have arranged a meeting between the former Team India skipper and Bengal’s present skipper, Mamata Banerjee, on June 4.
“Two acres have been identified in Action Area I of New Town for Sourav to build the proposed school. The cabinet today cleared the proposal to hand him the plot,” a senior official of the urban development department said.
The plot will be leased out to Sourav for 99 years against Rs 10.98 crore. Insiders said the price was fixed after a similar plot was e-auctioned at Rs 10.10 crore.
The memo prepared by the urban development department for Tuesday’s cabinet meeting read: “The government has decided to allot the land for the establishment of a 10+2 school at New Town because it has been considered that it will help promote an emerging area with development activity in the field of education in New Town, as currently there is no such institution there.”
The erstwhile Left Front government had allotted Sourav a 63.04cottah plot in CA block in 2009 to build a six-storeyed school.
Residents protested the move on the grounds that the area had two schools and a third would add to the congestion.
The matter was dragged to the Supreme Court. In May 2011, the apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly had cancelled the allotment and directed Sourav to return the plot in a fortnight.