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Kolkata Gate to open for public before pujas

Kolkata Gate to open for public before pujas

Kolkata: The Biswa Bangla Gate at Rabindra Tirtha crossing in New Town, popularly known as Kolkata Gate, is expected to be opened up for general public before the Durga Puja.

"The construction work is more or less done. However, we want to ensure complete safety for the visitors so we have engaged RITES for examining all aspects of safety. We will open it up only after we get the safety certificate from RITES," state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim said.

A major attraction of the 55 metre high gate will be a cafeteria, which will have dinner facilities in the night. "A team from the state Fire department has inspected the cafeteria but we are awaiting the clearance certificate from them," Hakim said.

It may be mentioned that Housing & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO), which is implementing the project, is also consulting IIT Kanpur regarding wind tunneling technology that may be used for the tunnel on the gate.

A tripartite meeting was held among HIDCO engineers, RITES and officials of IIT Kanpur on Saturday.

It may be mentioned that there will be a tunnel on the gate which will be decorated with several photographs representing Bengal's culture, while the outer part of the entire tunnel will be covered with light.

The tunnel will be made approximately 25 metres above the ground. Visitors can climb up the lifts on one side of the gate to reach the Visitors' Gallery and the cafeteria. The logo "Welcome to Kolkata" will be put up on the ring structure to greet the incoming vehicles.

The Visitors' Gallery along with the cafeteria will be surrounded by glass, which will be part of the wall. From there, the entire New Town and Rajarhat will have a majestic view. The construction of the gate has involved around 70 tonnes of steel.

"The idea of this gallery has been conceived from the Eiffel Tower in Paris, while the cafeteria has been inspired by the hanging cafeteria from Malaysia," a senior HIDCO official said. State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has designed the Kolkata Gate and its construction started on March 6, 2017.

SOUMITRA NANDI

SOUMITRA NANDI

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