Municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim on Wednesday defended the Calcutta Municipal Corporation’s decision to offer a tax waiver to houses painted in the chief minister’s favourite blue-and-white.
The government, he said, will bring necessary amendments to implement the waiver scheme. “The government will extend a helping hand if other civic bodies come up with similar schemes,” Hakim said.
In a dig at the ruling party, the Opposition leader in the Assembly, Surjya Kanta Mishra, said ministers should start wearing blue-and-white clothes.
Excerpts from Hakim’s statements at a press conference in the Assembly building:
• Blue is the colour of the sky, white is the colour of water. Both are pure
• Red, green and saffron are colours associated with political parties, so they are not acceptable
• The blue-and-white combination has a soothing effect. It helps fight depression
• The colour scheme will make urban centres look spectacular
• Many cities follow a colour scheme. Calcutta should do so, too
• The city wore a damp, dark, depressing look for 34 years, till May 2011. Now that everyone’s happy with Trinamul at the helm, the city should wear a happy look, too
• As a token of solidarity with the citizens, the CMC has offered the nominal tax waiver
• There will always be some who will criticise even the most positive of moves. They should be ignored
• The government will do what it takes to support the CMC.