The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mega hub for food court, IT park, club

A composite service sector park, bigger and more spacious than any existing composite commercial complex in the state, is coming Calcutta’s way. And it is Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government that is taking the initiative to develop it.

The service sector park — that includes a market for groceries, an IT park, an executive club, food courts, entertainment centres and a host of other commercial outlets — is coming up on the EM Bypass in Salt Lake.

On Saturday, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) purchased a four-acre plot on the Bypass from Bengal Chemical for more than Rs 10 crore. This land is part of the 36-acre premise of the Bengal Chemical factory, which is lying vacant. “The four-acre plot will be developed into a composite service sector park, one of the largest of its kind in the state,” WBIDC managing director Gopal Krishna said on Saturday.

The total built-up area of the complex would be about 4.5 lakh sq. feet, he said.

“The land could well have been developed as a housing complex. But we felt that a complex with a variety of service sectors would be perfect to project the EM Bypass as an economic corridor to the city.

The space will not just house a large number of IT and business process outsourcing companies, but will also be a consumer-friendly shopping hub,” the WBIDC managing director added.

The complex will house a food hypermarket spread over 50,000 sq. feet where vegetables and fruits will be available. Fruits and vegetables will also be refrigerated, sorted and packaged here. Both retailers and wholesalers will be able to do their shopping here.

WBIDC has already discussed the plan with a private company that is interested in taking the area on rent.

“We want to let out another one lakh sq. feet to software companies and business outsourcing companies for developing a portion of the complex as an IT park. The shopping mall, food courts and executive club within the complex will be additional attractions,” the WBIDC managing director added.

The park is being done up jointly by WBIDC and a private real estate company, the Mani Group. “We have followed a very transparent method in selecting the developers. Construction is likely to start in three months,” Gopal Krishna said.

Development of the park — which is now just another vacant plot close to Swabhumi — will also include improvement of the surrounding roads. “We have already written to the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority to develop the EM Bypass around the plot as well as build some service roads for the park’s benefit,” he added.

WBIDC is hoping that the service sector park would turn out to be a major draw on the way to the heart of the city from the airport.

According to officials, it should boost Calcutta’s image as well, attracting private entrepreneurs here.

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