Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the country's largest business Convention Centre at New Town on Friday evening.
"The Centre is not only a pride of Bengal but the whole of India. I am told that bookings for 2018 have already begun," she said, adding "When I was coming to attend the function Amitda (state Finance minister Amit Mitra) told me that it is the tallest Convention Centre in the world."
The main auditorium has a seating capacity of around 3,200 which is the highest in the country. She praised state Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim, Debashis Sen, Additional Chief Secretary and chairman of Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) for their wonderful job. She also thanked L&T for carrying out the massive construction and making it an engineering wonder.
Banerjee said the estimated cost of the Centre is around Rs 500 crore. "It has all the modern facilities including banquet halls, exhibition halls, restaurants and a 112-bed accommodation," she added.
Banerjee said New Town has become a clean and green city and Eco Park, which covers 480 acres of land, and is surrounded by 112 acres of waterbody is "the finest urban park in the country". The Chief Minister maintained: "New Town is coming up as a residential, commercial and educational hub in Bengal. The Mother's Wax museum is a state-owned museum and it is very unique."
She further added that another Convention Centre at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore with 1,000 seating capacity auditorium is coming up at Digha. "Business houses often hold meetings and can use the centre which is coming up soon."
Banerjee said "lots of things are happening in Bengal. We have decided to spend Rs 20,000 crore on infrastructure development."
She added that earlier it used to take "two hours" from her Kalighat residence to reach airport but now, she takes only "35 to 40 minutes" to cover the distance.
On the contrary, "I used to take 25 minutes to reach the airport from South Avenue in Delhi and now; I take 2 hours to reach the airport from the same place."
She further said, "all the states in the country are carrying out development work but in Bengal it is different because such fine taste and warm heart are not available anywhere else in the country."
Banerjee also thanked the people for celebrating Durga Puja and Muharram peacefully. She also attended a Bijoya Sammelan at the Convention Centre. It was attended by businessmen including Sanjiv Goenka, Vice-Chancellors of Calcutta and Jadavpur Universities, Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee and Suranjan Das, film director Gautam Ghosh, vocalists including Saikat Mitra, Jojo, Sriradha Bandyopadhyay. State Chief Secretary Malay De, Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya and Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purakayastha were also present at the Bijoya Sammelan.