Kolkata, May 25 UNI | 2 months ago

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's promise to turn 'Kolkata into London' may have taken one more step with the contract of the Calcutta Eye - a 100 m tall wheel to view Kolkata from the sky - being awarded to a UK-based company.

On the occasion of the declaration of the awarding of the tender recently, Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said, 'The project will probably be complete within 18 months after the work begins.'

The state government will set up the Kolkata Eye - modelled after iconic London Eye - through the public-private partnership model with UK-based firm Sun Consulting and Investments.

Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said the project cost has been pegged at Rs 381 crore, of which the government will pay Rs 81 crore and the UK firm will invest Rs 300 crore. The third partner in the project is Kolkata Port Trust, which will provide the land near Millennium Park. Mr Hakim said work on the project will start very soon.

Right after coming to power, the Chief Minister decided to beautify the Hooghly riverfront on the lines of the Thames and some stretches of the riverfront have already been beautified. The government is looking for World Bank assistance to develop the Hooghly riverfront on a grand scale and is planning to develop riverine transport by setting up more jetties.

About the project, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote on her social networking page page: 'A Giant Wheel', like the 'London Eye', will soon come up on the bank of the river Hooghly in Kolkata. It will be an icon of the great city of Kolkata and will enrich the ongoing River-front Beautification Project. This project is the first of its kind in size and magnitude in India.'

(Posted on 26-05-2014)