KMC to develop Mayer Bari Socializing 35 Slum Families
Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal Smt. Mamata Banerjee's strategy of mounting Heritage Tourism with a total overhaul of Mayer Bari in Bagbazar took a major stride on Saturday. Kolkata Municipal Corporation handed over keys of apartments to 35 families who used to live in slums located just opposite to Mayer Bari.
"We are planning to come up with 300 flats, each with an area of 300 square feet, and all the slum occupants will be steadily repositioned there. We have set a time frame of six months each for finishing a single block. There will be a total of 15 such blocks that will be handed over to them. The first block is being handed over to 35 families today (Saturday)," said Mayor Firhad Hakim.
The capitals for the upcoming project was first endorsed under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) when it was granted that the Centre would assign 60 percent and state will be giving 40 percent.
"However the NDA government after coming to power in 2014 washed its hands off the fund allotment. It was Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who publicized that the revamp will be taken up with funds being provided by the state government. We are spending Rs 30 crore for the entire project," Hakim added.
Minister of State for Women and Child Welfare Shashi Panja, who is also the local MLA, said there were repeated tries to craft division among people in the area but all hurdles have now been cleared.
She clearly stated that "The slum dwellers have enthusiastically settled to evacuate their houses and move to apartments which we are being made for them. I will plea to all populaces not to be carried away by any rumour. The government will guarantee that nobody is deprived".
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), with capitals billed by the state government, will come up with a children's park and a vocational training center right after repositioning the slum. The section around the heritage building will also be remodeled and then will be festooned up with illuminative lights to give it a grandiose look. Ramakrishna Paramhansha's wife Sarada Devi had stayed at the two-storeyed house off Bagbazar Street, known as Mayer Bari, for 11 years (1909-1920). Hundreds of disciples and holidaymakers from India and abroad visit the building almost every day.
According to a senior official of the KMC, "The narrow lane leading to Mayer Bari is a major disturbance, especially during festivals when thousands of devotees line up to worship to Sree Sree Maa. The roads will also be broadened in view of this in order to make it stress-free for devotees who visit the place."