Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s attempts in setting up night shelters in the city has not picked up its desired pace due to non-cooperation from central agencies in allocating land for the purpose.”Central agencies like the Railways and Kolkata Port Trust have a lot of abandoned land scattered here and there in the city. But they are not cooperating with us in allocating land for the project. We had held three meetings in this regard in the last three months, but their officials had attended only the first meeting,” Member, Mayor-in-Council (Bustee Development) Swapan Samaddar said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the Supreme Court had prodded all the states in the country for setting up such shelters and has set a target of one such shelter per one lakh people.At present, Kolkata has around 40 night shelters, of which 35 have been set up by the state government and five by the KMC, all of which are single-storeyed.”We have already prepared the detailed plan for five night shelters and are awaiting allocation of funds from the state Municipal Affairs department. Construction work will start soon. These shelters will come up at wards 2, 5, 36, 133 and 57,” a senior KMC official added. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe new night shelters will be either two or three-storeyed, for accommodating a large number of people. Finding land for construction of such night shelters is a problem and Samaddar is holding meetings every month with KMC officials of the borough level, state agencies like the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), Kolkata Improvement Trust (KIT), Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) and central agencies.The five existing KMC night shelters at Chetla, Bhowanipore, Galiff Street, Gauribari Lane and Raja Manindra Road can accommodate around 2,500 people on a daily basis.
Kolkata: State Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Saturday assured assistance from the state government to Visva Bharati authorities for hosting “Poush Mela” in Santiniketan. Visva Bharati has decided to dissociate themselves from holding the Mela putting a doubt over the mega fair that draws people not only from the state and the country but from abroad as well. Chatterjee will also take up the matter with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.”In the last few days, I have received several calls from students and people from the state who want that the annual event should continue. I have spoken to Vice-Chancellor of the university Bidyut Chakraborty and have asked him to inform the state government about the measures that need to be taken for continuation of the event. I have urged him to talk to the locals, educationists, students, alumni and the local administration and take their feedback on the matter,” Chatterjee said. According to him, Bengal’s sentiments are associated with this historical event and everybody wants that the Mela should be held. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe Visva Bharati authorities have pointed out that catering to the pollution norms and taking up the entire responsibility of organising the fair has become difficult on their part. “There are now several modern machines for addressing the issue of pollution which can be utilised. But if the “Poush Mela” stops, it will be distressing,” the minister added. He further added that a new statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar will be unveiled at the playground of Hare School on June 11. A walk will be held from the campus to Vidyasagar College and the entire programme will be presided over by the Chief Minister. A half bust of Vidyasagar will be installed at Vidyasagar College and another statue will also be unveiled in the college campus. A bust of Vidyasagar was vandalised allegedly by BJP supporters during an election rally in the city that was led by Amit Shah last month. Leading educationists have been invited to be present at the programme.