Malda, March 13: Arrangements are on in full swing for the foundation stone laying ceremony of the A.B.A. Ghani Khan Choudhury Institute of Engineering and Technology on Saturday that will be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The district administration is also making arrangements for chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s likely visit for the occasion.
Mamata had told Abu Naser Khan Choudhury, the Congress MLA from Sujapur who had gone to invite her, that she would not be able to attend the March 16 programme.
Abu Naser, who is the chairman of the governing body of the central institute, had gone to Writers’ on March 4 to invite the chief minister. Mamata had reportedly said she had other engagements and would visit Malda later.
Today, district Congress president and South Malda MP Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury told a news conference that he had been told by the district police superintendent that Mamata may be present.
“The police superintendent called me this morning and said the chief minister could be present. The district administration has also received a similar message from Writers’ Buildings,” he added.
However, Trinamul’s Englishbazar MLA and minister Krishnendu Chowdhury said tonight that he had no information that Mamata would attend the programme.
Additional district magistrate Nilkamal Biswas said the administration had received a message that Mamata was likely to attend the programme. “We are proceeding accordingly with the arrangements.”
“On March 16, the Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson will arrive here at 11.10am by helicopter. They will land at a helipad near Kotwali. They will pay homage at the tomb of A.B.A. Ghani Khan Choudhury (in Kotwali). We have made arrangements for refreshments and tea in one of the drawing rooms of our Kotwali house. Then they will take the helicopter to reach Naranpur, 20km by road from here, where the institute will come up. The Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi will leave Malda at 12.40pm,” Abu Hasem, one of Ghani Khan Choudhury’s brothers, said.
Today a team of officers from the Special Protection Group (SPG) arrived here from Delhi and inspected the Kotwali house of the Khan Choudhurys and the spot where the programme would be held.
The team also oversaw the setting up of the helipads in Kotwali and Naranpur.
Abu Naser, the other brother of the late Congress leader, said the National Building Construction Corporation Limited (NBCCL) had been entrusted with the responsibility of the programme.
“The NBCCL will construct the campus for which the Union government has sanctioned Rs 452 crore. We have recruited 22 teaching and non-teaching staff and we expect to recruit more during the 2013-14 session. Now the institute operates from a rented building.”