Howrah cry to alter name

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By MITA MUKHERJEE
  • Published 10.01.07
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The Kolkata West International City gate. A Telegraph picture

As protests continue in Nandigram over acquisition of land for industry, a different type of agitation is taking shape in Howrah, involving Kolkata West International City.

A large number of residents of the district — including academicians, writers, intellectuals, doctors, players, artists and political leaders — have joined hands to demand deletion of the word ‘Kolkata’ from the name of the Rs 2,500-crore township, being developed in Salap by the Salim, Ciputra and Universal Success groups.

“We are not against development and we appreciate the government’s decision in selecting the site for the project. But we will not allow the government to call it Kolkata West International City, as the township is very much in Howrah,” said Anil Chattopadhyay, former deputy mayor of the Howrah Municipal Corporation and a leader of the movement.

“The government will have to replace the word Kolkata with Howrah. If it doesn’t want to call it Howrah West International City, then a new name has to be thought of,” he added.

Among those supporting the demand are homoeopath Ram Krishna Ghosh Mondal, academician Shankari Prasad Basu, former Supreme Court justice Murari Mohan Dutta, singer Swapna Ghosal and writer Dukhoharan Thakur Chakraborty.

A group has recently met district magistrate Nandini Chakraborty and submitted a memorandum demanding the administration’s intervention.

The organisers of the movement are running a signature campaign and organising street-corner meetings to drum up support for their cause.

“Those wanting to buy flats in the township may get misled by the name of the project. This is also a reason why we want the name changed,” Chattopadhyay said.

District magistrate Chakraborty said she has asked the delegation to submit a detailed proposal, which would be referred to the urban development department.