The Telegraph
Friday , January 18 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Local markets for New Town

New Town may be twice the size of its neighbour Salt Lake but when it comes to buying of daily provisions residents still have to rely on malls or venture out to the local markets of Salt Lake or Chinar Park.

Newtown Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA), which was created to look after the civic amenities of the township, has stepped in to fill this gap. “Keeping in mind the immediate need of the residents, three local markets are coming up in Action Area 1,” said a senior official of NKDA. He added that the local markets would be similar to those in Salt Lake but “minus the drawbacks of the block markets”.

Six more markets would come up in various locations of Action Area 1 and II.

The nine markets, all of them three-storeyed, would house vendors selling vegetables, fruits, fish, flowers and other perishable items on the ground floor. The first floor would house medicine shops, confectioneries, stationery goods, ration shops, tailor, dress materials etc. The second floor would have a community hall so residents can organise social gatherings there. The entry point of the community hall would be separate from the market entry point.

Work has already started on the construction of three markets. They are coming up in Action Area 1A, close to Utsa Housing Estate, in Action Area 1B near Pride Hotel and in Action Area 1C, near Balaka Abasan. By June, the construction of these three markets would be complete. Around Rs 1.5 crore is being spent to build each of these markets.

“Some of the areas are too big to be served by a single market. Two markets may come up in such places,” said the official.

Residents are delighted at the development. At present, Koli Dubey of Greenfield Ambition buys groceries from Food Bazaar in City Centre 2 and fresh fruits and vegetables from roadside vendors. “We’ll get more variety if other markets come up and the competition will keep prices under check,” she says.

“We rely on the Reliance Fresh store for most of our needs but a weekly trip to Salt Lake’s CK Market is unavoidable,” says Subrata Ghosh, a senior citizen of Greenwood Park. While he is satisfied with the rohu available nearby, he has to travel to Salt Lake for hilsa, pabda and tangra. “I also would hope the new markets have a watch repair shop, laundry and salon. For men, the only shaving and hair cutting destination here is the roadside barbers who often use unhygienic methods.”