Millennium Post

Kalighat shop owners urge KMC to sign agreement of rehabilitation

Kolkata: The shop owners having their stalls inside the premises of the Kalighat temple have expressed their urge to sign an agreement with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) regarding assurance of their rehabilitation that will be given on the basis of lottery after the renovation work is complete.

A meeting regarding the same was held at the KMC headquarters on Friday where the temple committee placed the proposal of such an agreement as per the desire of the shop owners. A meeting convened by the temple committee will be held on Saturday in presence of senior officials of the KMC and representative of the shop owners where the agreement is expected to be signed.

KMC has a list of 135 shops located both inside and adjacent to the temple that will be shifted in phases with the renovation work being undertaken. The shops inside the temple would be given a deadline of June 7 to shift in the temporary shade that has been constructed for them just adjacent to the temple.

"The renovation of the interiors of the shrine will be carried out strictly as per the directions of Calcutta High Court," said Rashbehari MLA Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay who was present at the KMC meeting on Friday.

KMC wants to develop Kalighat temple in a manner so that it can emerge as an international cultural destination and a pilgrimage spot.

The Kalighat temple is considered to be one of the 51 "Shakti Peeths" (seats of divinity) in India.

As per plans, there will be a parking place, day-care centre, basic medical facilities and a separate cluster where the shops dealing with Puja articles will come up.

The plan involves the facelift of Tolly Nullah, popularly known as Adi Ganga.

There will be systematic signages so that pilgrims visiting the shrine have a clear idea of the route for the temple, including details like Sasthitala, Natmondir, Jor Bangla and Harkath Tala.

The Kundupukur, a sacred tank situated in the south-east portion of the temple outside and the boundary walls will also undergo a revamp.

As per instructions of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the temple's original structure would be maintained with improvement in the entry and exit points. A skywalk will also be constructed similar to that of Dakshineswar to facilitate movement of devotees.

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