Jyoti Basu Nagar beckons Rajarhat New Town

TNN, Aug 26, 2010, 12.58am IST

KOLKATA: Come October, Rajarhat New Town will be rechristened Jyoti Basu Nagar. The children's park here will also be named after the country's longest-serving chief minister. Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) plans to celebrate the naming ceremony of the township -- close to Salt Lake aka Bidhannagar named after Basu's senior and former CM Bidhan Chandra Roy -- with various cultural programmes through the month.

"We will install a statue of Jyoti Basu at the new township. Chief minister Buddadeb Bhattacharjee will be present on the occasion," said state housing minister Gautam Deb, who has reportedly sent an invite to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with a request to lay the foundation stone of the business hub, Dalhousie.

"We want the PM to lay the foundation stone for the project. Many senior central government officials will be present on the occasion," said Deb, who also planned to invite railway minister Mamata Banerjee even as she had stayed away from a similar programme at New Town earlier.

Announcing Rs 250 crore for Metro to share the cost of setting up a tube network up to Rajarhat, the minister added, "We will give land for free and also inform Banerjee about it."

Upbeat about Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy seeking a presence at New Town, Deb said, "Murthy had positive talks with the

CM and state IT minister Debes Das. Infosys officials saw the land and wanted to know how much floor area ratio (FAR) they could get. We will give them the best deal because the CM too is keen on having Infosys in the state," Deb said.

With plans of a government school, college and hospital in the new township, he added, "We have allotted 20 acre to SSKM hospital for setting up its new campus. We will also try and get a hospital here along the lines of AIIMS with the help of Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad."

With 20,000 flats reportedly ready for an inauguration on September 6, the minister said, "We have requested Banerjee to hand over the keys to the occupants, but a reply from her is still awaited. We had also invited Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, but he conveyed his inability to come." This apart, there will be 10,000 new flats for the lower income group, of which 5,000 flats will be reserved for landlosers.

Deb took the opportunity to clear the controversy over distribution of plots to individuals under Hidco chairman and special quotas.

"We have so far distributed 296 plots to individuals and cooperatives under the chairman's quota and 184 plots under the special quota. Transparency has been maintained in the entire process," the minister added.

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