Mamata gives Kolkata the blues: orders buildings, railings, taxis to be re-painted in ‘colour of the sky’
The Marxists may see red, but Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wants Kolkata to see blue. All government buildings, flyovers, roadside railings and even taxis are set to be painted light blue.
“Our leader Mamata Banerjee has decided that the theme colour of the city will be sky blue because the motto of the new government is ‘the sky is the limit’,” said Firhad Hakim, state urban development minister. “From now on, all government buildings, whenever they are re-painted, will be done in sky blue. The owners of private buildings will also be requested to follow the same colour pattern. The necessary government orders will be issued soon,’’ he said.
Even the Shahid Minar, a major landmark of the city, is likely to be re-painted in blue. Only the heritage buildings like Writers’ Buildings and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will be exempted.
In fact, the Trinamool Congress had painted the interiors of the KMC building green after it trounced the CPI(M) in the local elections in 2010. Some railway buildings were also painted green.
PWD officials said they had already started re-painting some public buildings and flyovers. “We have a verbal order, so we have started painting roadside railings in blue and white. Whenever there is a public function we are painting the dias and adjacent area sky blue. The flyover at AJC Bose road has been re-done in blue,” said a senior PWD official.
“At present we have started repair work of the Shahid Minar, which will also get a fresh coat of paint next month. I have sent three options — the existing white, golden and sky blue. I am sure the Chief Minister will choose blue,” he added.
State PWD Minister Sudarshan Ghosh Dastidar said his department would select the bridges and other establishments to be painted blue. “The urban development department, municipal corporation and zilla parishad will also select the structures under their administrative control to be re-painted,’’ he said.
“We are going to change the yellow colour of taxis and make them light blue and white,’’ said Transport Minister Madan Mitra.
Clarifying that no separate funds had been allotted for the re-painting work, Hakim said the concerned departments and agencies would spend their own funds. “For private buildings, it will be the owners who will pay for the re-painting,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress expressed reservations on the issue. “The state government is preoccupying itself with non-essential issues and not prioritising development, establishment of rule of law at the ground level,’’ said State Congress leader Om Prakash Mishra.
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