Mamata Banerjee’s government is keen to put Kolkata on the global map, when lakhs of visitors - foreign and domestic - would gather to celebrate Bengal’s biggest festival Durgostav with pomp and grandeur.
The tourism department and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) have joined hands for the first time to decorate the city with lights and give Kolkata a festive look.
All entry-exit points to the city would have gates lit and important buildings and road crossings would be decorated with chain lights.
“We have already got Rs. 20 lakh from the tourism department and an additional Rs. 30 lakh would be contributed from our kitty to illuminate the city with chain lights this Durga Puja,” Manzar Iqbal, member, mayor-in-council (MMiC) (lighting) told HT.
According to the tourism department’s guidelines, the illumination would be done from October 9 to 18 for a span of 12 hours starting from 5.30 pm.
“It is a first-of-its-kind initiative on part of the government and KMC to decorate the city with lights during the biggest festival. Organisers go to a great extent to illuminate the passage leading to their respective puja pandals, but illuminating the city as a whole is something new and exciting,” a senior technocrat engaged with the electrical department of KMC, who had been assigned with the job to light up the city, told Hindustan Times.
Decorative and well-lit gates would be put up temporarily at the Second Hooghly Bridge and Howrah Bridge.
Important road crossings that would be illuminated with decorative chain lights include crossings at Shyambazar, Dalhousie, Dorina, Park Street, Elliot Park, Rabindra Sadan, National Library, Belvedere Road, Hazra, Rashbehari Avenue and Gariahat Bridge Parapet (east & west) along with the entire stretch of the riverfront, among others.
All important and landmark buildings of Kolkata, too, would be illuminated with chain lights during the days of the festival.
“These buildings would include government and heritage buildings that usually attract tourists round the year,” the MMiC added.
All the entry- exit points from both north and south 24-Parganas would also have gates decorated with lights to welcome visitors to the Metrocity during the festival days.