The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Victorian grace for fave street

A makeover recreating a Victorian ambience is set to greet visitors on Park Street.

Come January, Calcutta's most famous thoroughfare will be dotted with ornamental lamp posts with hanging flower pots, and fountains with kiosks on one side and decorative wrought iron railings on the other.

The makeover will be part of a Rs 4-crore beautification drive the civic authorities have taken up for a rectangular slice, extending from Park Street in the north to Shakespeare Sarani in the south and Hungerford Street in the east to JL Nehru Road in the west.

Park Street will be beautified first, to be followed by Shakespeare Sarani, Rawdon Street, Russel Street, Camac Street, Harrington Street and Loudon Street.

'The project will be executed with help from private sponsors,' said mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya. 'The one thing we are making sure of is that the area regains its looks of the Raj days.'

As part of the turnaround, the civic body will pull down all billboards. 'It's time we removed those eyesores,' said municipal commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay.

To exit with the billboards are passenger shelters. In their place will come up V-shaped unipoles for putting up advertisements. Road indicators will have back-lit displays, instead of boards.

Two toilets and one drinking water kiosk will come up at the intersection of Park Street and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road. The Rawdon Street-Loudon Street crossing, too, will have similar facilities, said mayoral council member Faiyaz Khan.

The structures will be maintained by private parties, against exclusive advertisement rights. The authorities hope to earn around Rs 12 lakh as tax from the companies that will put up ads on the kiosks and toilet walls.

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