Welcome to the new and improved Kolkata


When you visit a new city, your first impression is always based on what you see on the way from the airport. That’s why beautification is important — to create a good impression about Kolkata among tourists,” Bidhannagar MLA Sujit Bose told CT, when asked about the rationale behind the facelift given to areas along EM Bypass and VIP Road in recent years. Bose has been instrumental in the beautification drives in Lake Town and VIP Road. The latest addition to the list is Captain Bheri — a once-deserted stretch along the EM Bypass that has undergone a total makeover, complete with wide pavements, ornate streetlights and rows of benches. In fact, Kolkata Municipal Corporation is still busy beautifying the stretch.
When we drive down to the city from the airport, Bose’s rationale does hold true. Almost the entire stretch looks great, with people crossing some beautiful landmark every other minute. And there are replicas galore — right from the famous copy of the Big Ben in Lake Town to a mini Howrah bridge in Patuli and more. Then, of course, there are the myriad sculptures, statues and hedge art along the way.
And the view gets even more spectacular after sundown. So, let’s have a look at some of these developments.
The beautification of Patuli area started in 2015 after Bappaditya Dasgupta, the Ward 101 councillor, bought decorative items from Naktala Udayan Sangha and installed them on the Patuli jheel paar. The beautification project, however, reached its zenith with inauguration of the Patuli floating market this year. The market, however, is situated in the neighbouring ward.
The area is being given a complete facelift, with KMC working round the clock to build concrete pavements on both sides of the EM Bypass along with manicured gardens
and special lighting. There are also special seating arrangements for passersby
VIP Road
Sujit Bose decided to get a replica of Big Ben made in Lake Town after he visited the UK and saw the real thing a few years ago. Similarly, during visits to Thailand and some European countries, he saw the role canals play. “So, I decided to clean up khal paar, which was otherwise a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” he said. He set the
ball rolling and created parks alongside the canal and decorated these with sculptures.


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