The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Land use to fill coffers
- CIT on CMDA joint-venture route to save plots

The Calcutta Improvement Trust (CIT) has decided to undertake some joint-venture projects to utilise vacant plots in the city and its suburbs. Officials said on Sunday that the decision was taken at the last meeting of the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA).

“CIT plots that are either encroached upon or are lying vacant will be utilised,” said CMDA board member Sudhangshu Sil. Another revenue stream for the CIT would be leasing out of plots through auction.

Joint-venture talks are already on for two major projects — one on Prince Anwar Shah Road and the other at Ultadanga. Of the two, the south Calcutta project, on a 29-cottah plot, has picked up pace. “The CIT is planning to set up a residential-cum-commercial complex on the land, which has already been walled off,” said a CIT official.

As per the proposal, a residential complex will occupy 44,000 sq ft, while a commercial market complex will cover over 11,000 sq ft. The commercial wing will have shops, phone kiosks and ATM counters. The proposed Ultadanga project, on 76 cottahs, “is still in a nascent stage”.

But a major roadblock for such joint-venture projects is encroachment. Several acres of CIT land have been overrun. “Take, for example, the Ultadanga project. There are no less than 250 families (of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation conservancy staff) staying on the designated plot,” said a CIT official. “We have asked the civic authorities whether these people can be shifted to our land in Chingrihata, off the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass,” he added.

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