Rajarhat New Town won't be named Jyoti Basu Nagar

TNN | Oct 18, 2011, 01.24AM IST

KOLKATA: Bidhannagar remains, but not Jyoti Basu Nagar. Salt Lake had been renamed after Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, and it remained as Bidhannagar no matter which party ruled the state.

But with the recent change in power, the proposal to rename Rajarhat New Town after former chief minister and CPM patriarch Jyoti Basu has been scrapped unceremoniously.The Trinamool Congress-run government has decided not to rename Rajarhat New Town after Jyoti Basu. The renaming proposal was a part of the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2010, passed in the assembly during the Left Front regime. A programme was even held at Rajarhat in October last year on the township's renaming.

The revision comes after governor M K Narayanan sought the new government's opinion on some of the Bills passed during the fag end of the erstwhile government.The fresh draft does not take into account "renaming" of the township after Jyoti Basu, a top official of the Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) confirmed on Monday.

The government is, however, working on the portion of the Bill that deals with taxation.According to the official, the Bill passed in 2010 had two portions - one which mentioned the township to be renamed after Basu and the other, had details on the collection of taxes, enlisting trades and professions, tax structure for commercial advertisements and so on. The portion relating to tax proposals is being reframed and has already been sent to the law department for scrutiny. There was no information on the renaming of the township as it was there in the Bill passed during the Left Front rule, he said.State urban development and municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim - who is now handling Hidco - also said the government is working only on the part of the Bill that deals with the taxation.

During the Left government's tenure, Hidco was under the state housing department, which was looked after by minister Gautam Deb. The Bill was passed in the assembly in April 2010 and was sent to the governor for his approval.The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2010, was meant for the New Town Development Authority to collect tax, enlist trades and professions, record titles of land and buildings, levy tax on commercial advertisements and so on.

Though the New Town Kolkata Development Authority has already started functioning, it continues to collect taxes under the Bengal Municipal Act like other municipalities in different parts of the state. The Bill was meant to confer regulatory powers to the township authority since it is growing rapidly in terms of population, and as a township adjoining Kolkata and Salt Lake, it should also have its own system of collecting tax.

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