Around Central Park- Salt Lake, Kolkata

There can’t be better place for my morning walk of 5 km anywhere that I find in Salt Lake, Kolkata. A round of Central Park (Ban Bitan) was always interesting. But in last two years, some new structures have come up along the avenue encircling the Park. That indicates the speed with which Kolkata has come in competitive mode. When I started from Karunamayee side, the new building of HSBC near the Bidyut Bhawan impressed me. As according to my neighbour, HSBC will carry on its outsourcing business from here.

As I moved along the avenue, just behind the Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy’s life size impressive statue, another private company is constructing its office. I had seen him while studying in Presidency, as his residence was nearby. Unlike today’s practice, this chief minister never lived in official residence. He was just a legendry doctor. Even when he was the chief minister, he used to keep a day in week for free medical consultation to poor. His date of birth and demise is same, the First July. While in IIT, I had read his biography written by an English doctor and that made him my hero. I feel sorry, as the statue of this founder of Salt Lake, and one who did the maximum in the development of West Bengal, will lose its locational grandeur.

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Bidhannagar Sports Complex is now ready with its own building. Basically, it is for football, but as it seems, training for Judo and Karate is also undertaken. Unfortunately, the sidewalk still lies neglected.

The residence of the former chief minister, Jyoti Basu who ruled Bengal for more than two decades, perhaps a record of a sort, is lifeless. He still lives here. He single-handedly could have developed the state as the best state of the country. But he had some different priorities. I don’t know how an independent historian will judge his contributions to pre-independence West Bengal.
And then comes the City Centre- an impressive one with everything- the shopping complex, multiplex as well as some residential provisions too. Unfortunately, it is right in vicinity of the residential areas, and some residents express their annoyance over it. Even yesterday news report talked of some scuffle between some temporary vendors and a resident. I feel the planning could have separated the City Centre better. Knowing Bengal for so many years, I am sure a better law and order management would be essential in future.

This state respects its leading figures. Vivekananda statue is the latest addition. The surrounding area is still under development.

Municipality building across the avenue is equally impressive, though I don’t know how good is the service that it provides. At least the overall facilities that it provides are very poor. The quality of water has gone worse. Roads are not regularly repaired. However, there are no electricity outages here unlike Noida.

Next one sees the other Park with Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose statue standing in same elegant manner in his Bengali attire.

While moving towards Karunamayee crossing, I found a new Videocon Cricket Academy has come up. I am sure my three sons would have loved it. None of them are here. And I don’t know what Keshav and Svanik would like, perhaps basketball or American football.

Salt lake is adding fast to its attraction. But unfortunately, it is not having a good library nor a bookstore of Border standard. I wish it to have these. At least in West Bengal, one can always hope for these to be part of attractions.

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