Mamata`s London plan hailed by celebrities

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s promise to turn Kolkata into another London has received mixed response from the people of the city.

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2011, 14:17 PM IST

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee`s promise to turn Kolkata into another London has
received mixed response from the people of the city, with many
appreciating it as a statement of good intent but CPM leader
Bikash Bhattacharya describing it as a pipe dream.

Celebrities like veteran Bengali actor and chairman of
the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute Ranjit Mullick
and renowned percussionist Tanmoy Bose want Mamata`s promise
to be viewed not in its face value but in its spirit.

"Her intention is good," said Mullick, a prolific film
actor.

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee`s promise to turn Kolkata into another London has
received mixed response from the people of the city, with many
appreciating it as a statement of good intent but CPM leader
Bikash Bhattacharya describing it as a pipe dream.

Celebrities like veteran Bengali actor and chairman of
the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute Ranjit Mullick
and renowned percussionist Tanmoy Bose want Mamata`s promise
to be viewed not in its face value but in its spirit.

"Her intention is good," said Mullick, a prolific film
actor.

Think about the Thames bank. Such edifices will only
contribute towards improving the dirty river bank."

The former mayor also felt that instead of making
ambitious but "unrealistic" plans, Banerjee should concentrate
on making the city more livable with improvement in basic
amenities for people such as conservancy, sewerage and roads.

He also argued that instead of creating another icon like
the Ferris Wheel in London, the existing heritage structures
like the Victoria Memorial, Sahid Minar monument (formerly
Ochterlony Monument) and Howrah Bridge should be maintained.

Internationally known percussionist Tanmoy Bose put faith
in Mamata`s drive to beautify the city, saying he had already
found evidence of it on the arterial Southern Avenue and some
other parts of the city.

"Kolkata had been steadily losing its premier status. I
often discuss about our favourite city with Pandit Ravishankar
who, having a soft corner for the city, said it was once in
the same league as Paris," Bose, who recently shared the stage
with legends like Elton John, said.

On what would be his suggestions to Banerjee, Bose said
if asked, he would urge the Chief minister to restore
Kolkata`s lost culture and to hold more showcase events like
the Bangla Sanskriti Sammelan of the 70s which used to draw
people from all sections of society.

Another luminary magician P C Sorcar (Junior) said the
call to turn Kolkata into London was only intended to improve
things in the decaying city rather than superimposing London
into the City of Joy.

"Such a move will undoubtedly lead to better civic
policing and instill basic discipline among residents. She is
trying to make things work and must be welcomed," Sorcar
(Junior) said.

Banerjee had also expressed her government`s desire to
make "Sunderbans like African Safari" and "Darjeeling like
Switzerland" in Delhi recently.

Meanwhile, she has already announced the formal roll-out
of the Ganga river front beautification plan from early next
month.

PTI