More sweets for Mishti hub near Bardhaman
Bengal probably earned the title of a 'mishti state' when the spongy, syrupy Rashogolla was born in Kolkata, thanks to efforts by one Nabin Chandra Das in 1868. Taking things forward in modern times is Bengal's Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who envisaged the setting up of a mishti hub in the Bardhaman district two years ago. The hub is now operational but soon, there will be more mishti on your platter.
Bardhaman is known for being parent to the delicious and juicy 'Langcha', as also the 'Mihidana' and the 'Sitabhog' which are scrumptious preparations that the sweetmakers relish in making as well as treating people with.
After initial hiccups regarding finding a suitable plot of land, the district administration has now finished construction and a few mishti manufacturers have launched their shops, on the auspicious occasion of Polia Baisakh recently.
"The idea is to represent not just delicacies from Bardhaman but the whole of Bengal. The hub is suitably located for people who are going back to Kolkata or faraway Delhi. Mishti manufacturers will not only be able to find a wider audience but do quality control and R&D to improve their fare", said ex District Magistrate of Bardhaman and senior IAS officer, Saumitra Mohan. The state Government has pitched in with an investment of Rs 2.5 crore for setting up of about 15 shops but is ready to back it up with an investment of Rs 2 crore to develop more shops, a convention centre, a factory, a common area and a parking lot. About 60 shops will be selling a wide array of sweets from the district and the rest of Bengal when the project is complete.
The new DM of East Bardhaman, Anurag Srivastava told Millennium Post that an SPV will run the mishti hub when it is ready.
"The state government will provide a corpus of Rs 1 lakh for the mishti manufacturers. They will be able to develop their trade further. This will be a brand-building exercise of Bengal, which is known to the rest of India as a hub of sweets".
Interestingly, the GI tag (geographical identification) tag for the rice based 'Sitabhog' and 'Mihidana' made in Bardhaman will boost the export value of these sweets and also prevent duplication of these products by any other state or country.