Noted essayist and Principal Secretary, state Transport department Alapan Bandopadhyay will speak at the inaugural edition of Bengal Chamber’s Calcutta Talks on Friday.
Calcutta Talks have been conceptualised to bring all the facts, snippets and city’s tryst with destiny giving Kolkata a unique character. Called by the British as the “Second City after London,” Ferminger, a British historian wrote:” Think of the best in architecture, think of the best in engineering, combine the two and you can have a faint idea of what Calcutta is.”
Ambarish Dasgupta and former advocate general, Anindya Mitra will be present at Friday’s meeting. Bandopadhyay’s book “Ghats of Calcutta” and his profound knowledge in city’s history and development is well known.
It may be mentioned that Bengal Chamber has opened a permanent exhibition on Kolkata in its premises. It is a pictorial journey down the memory lane of the business and industrial history of Calcutta.
The pictorial skyline of the exhibition starts with an artist’s impression of Sutanuti village where Job Charnock had landed in 1690. With this, Calcutta began to flourish as a business hub. Even before the arrival of the East India Company, Kolkata had a strong retail sector at Burrabazar.
In 1756, shortly before the battle of Plassey, Kolkata’s trade was stated to have exceeded one million sterling annually. After winning the battle of Plassey, EI Company constructed its first mint in the city. Slowly, the EI Company turned Kolkata into a modern city.
In the early 19th century educational institution, medical college came up. Then came the construction of railways. Investment worth Rs 2.2 million came to Kolkata for construction of Howrah Bridge. Kolkata was the first city in the country to get electricity. The exhibition site is a treasure on city’s economic history and progress.