Mayor asks Kolkata Metro to rebuild BBD Bag bus stand in sync with heritage status

The Mahakaran station stands 24m below the green patch around Laldighi in Dalhousie and expects a footfall of 30,000 commuters in peak hours

Kinsuk Basu Kolkata Published 24.02.22, 07:59 AM
A glimpse of Dalhousie Square, which is peppered with colonial architecture

A glimpse of Dalhousie Square, which is peppered with colonial architecture iStock photograph

The state government has requested Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation, the implementing agency of the East West Metro project, to come up with a design for rebuilding the BBD Bag bus stand in keeping with the zone’s heritage status.

“We have asked the KMRC to come up with a design that is in sync with the heritage status of the zone where Mahakaran (Writers Building) is located,” Firhad Hakim, state transport minister, said on Wednesday following a meeting with the KMRC officials.


“We are not looking at a new multi-storey building. But the design of the bus stand should be such that it blends in with the heritage structures in the region.”

Located opposite Writers Building in central Kolkata’s Dalhousie, the BBD Bag bus stand was taken over by the KMRC in 2017 for the construction of the Mahakaran station on the East-West Metro route.

The construction work was completed in February 2020, after 29 months. The station stands 24m below the green patch around Laldighi in Dalhousie and is expected to witness a footfall of nearly 30,000 commuters in peak hours.

“The Mahakaran station is almost 1.5 times bigger than the terminal station at Howrah Maidan along the East-West route,” said a senior KMRC official.

One of the proposed openings is in front of Writers Building and another in front of St Andrew’s Church. The third leads to the footpath opposite Currency Building in Dalhousie, a nationally protected monument.

With the construction work completed, the state government has appealed to the KMRC to rebuild the bus stand as early as possible so that minibuses of several routes and trams of at least 16 routes can resume operations. Their routes were diverted ever since the bus stand was cordoned off for the construction.

In 2006, the World Monument Watch had categorised Dalhousie Square as one of the endangered heritage zones in the world. A year later, the state government and civic authorities had launched an organisation — Calcutta Regenerated Society — to renovate Dalhousie Square under the chairmanship of the then Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

Kolkata Municipal Corporation later started renovating the area in keeping with heritage status by setting up Victorian style lamp posts, railings and other structures.

“The sense of aesthetics is very important while conceiving any design in this part of Kolkata which is strewn with heritage structures,” said Shuvaprasanna, chairman of the West Bengal Heritage Commission. “I would be happy to share my ideas if the KMRC feels the need to get in touch. I can even work out a drawing of the structure.”

Senior officials in the transport department once the KMRC comes up with a plan they would invite experts to scrutinise it and then arrive at a decision.

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