Mamata Banerjee demands Rs 1,000 cr for Tagore centre

Updated: Nov 06, 2011, 11:06 AM IST

Kolkata: West Bengal government today demanded Rs 1,000 crore from the Centre for setting up the world`s largest Rabindra cultural centre here as part of the 150th birth anniversary celebration of Rabindranath Tagore.

"I have held discussions with Union Housing and Urban Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja on our plan for a Tagore International Cultural Centre around Rabindra Sadan, Nandan and Academy of Fine Arts complex. We demanded Rs 1,000 crore as central assistance," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters here.

The chief minister, who held a meeting with Kumari Selja, said a proposal has been sent to the Centre.

She said a committee, with Rakhi Sarkar as its chairperson, was formed, which was asked to submit a report detailing the project.

She said discussions were also held with the union minister for renovation and restoration of dilapidated Rabindra Bhavans in the districts for which central assistance of Rs 66.5 crore was required.

Banerjee said Rabindra Tirtha project taken up by the state government at Rajarhat was now being implemented by HIDCO.

Earlier, the union minister assured help to the state government for celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore in a befitting manner.

Selja said she had assured central help in implementing development projects under JNNURM in KMDA areas.

Help would be extended in implementing central projects like Rajiv Awas Yojna, Urban Poverty Alleviation programme and projects for development of minorities and economically weaker sections and SC/STs.

"We are flexible in our approach so that we can help maximum number of people," Selja said, adding Congress President Sonia Gandhi was aware of the need for development of the weaker sections.

Mamata said discussions were held to provide shelters to the minorities, poor and backward sections of the state.