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KMC ropes in consultants for Curzon Park makeover

The state government has unshipped a fresh wave of initiatives to realise chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s dream of turning Kolkata into London.

kolkata Updated: Sep 14, 2012 12:00 IST
Sandip Chowdhury
Sandip Chowdhury
Hindustan Times
Mamta Banerjee,Kolkata,London

The state government has unshipped a fresh wave of initiatives to realise chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s dream of turning Kolkata into London.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has tied up with the state transport and public works department to give Dalhousie Square, deemed a prominent city landmark, a Raj era look. Curzon Park, located opposite the Governor’s abode Raj Bhavan and part of the heritage zone of Dalhousie Square, has been picked for the proposed makeover bid.

“Though a famous city landmark, Curzon Park has turned filthy over time, with muddy stretches, broken tram tracks and open urinals dotting all over. The place smells foul and the dirty environs around it are a turn off for tourists, especially those from overseas,” a KMC engineer told HT.

Concerned over the pitiable sights and scenes around one of the city’s prominent green spaces, the Trinamool Congress board at the KMC has planned a joint makeover bid with the state government with a view to restoring the lost glory of Curzon Park, in addition to giving it a Raj era feel.

“We have roped in a team of consultants and they would lay out a detailed project report within a month, suggesting ways to augment the look and feel of the park,” Debashis Kumar, member, mayor-in-council (parks & squares), told HT.

A mayor-in-council meeting back in August cleared the proposal of engaging consultants to formulate a clear roadmap for renovation of the park.

According to officials in the KMC parks and squares department, state transport minister Madan Mitra and the MMiC, while on a routine inspection along with a team of engineers and municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed on July 28, were witness to the shocking state of apathy and advocated the need for urgent state intervention to salvage and restore the famed greens.

The internal road network system, including pathways, has long been crying out for a face-lift. Even the open spaces amidst the internal road network and tram tracks, have turned into de-facto dumpyards and urinals, and could do with proper fencing and a dash of green around.

The bus stands dotting the space too have been crying out for a leg-up. A bouquet of new bus stands, complete with advertisement rights, are reportedly among the proposals being considered.

The joint inspection team also advocated construction of two new ‘Pay & Use’ toilets— at the southern side facing Rani Rashmoni Road and the northern side facing Esplanade East— with bus passengers being offered the option of littering without pay. Existing toilets too would be demolished shortly.

The team observed that that level of illumination at the Curzon Park area is way below par and could be augmented further.

First Published: Sep 14, 2012 11:34 IST