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Metro pillars dressed up with ads: KMDA takes exception

Metro pillars dressed up with ads: KMDA takes exception

Kolkata: The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) is slapping a notice on Kolkata Metro Rail for putting up advertisements on several pillars, particularly in Rajarhat-New Town area. The state government has been developing vertical gardens on the Metro pillars in an effort to increase greenery in the city.

"We have waived Rs 257 crore as fees against the land that we had developed and later handed it over for construction of pillars for the Metro project. The Union Railway minister had written to the state government seeking a waiver. The matter was taken up at the state Cabinet and then we decided not to take charges, considering the fact that the project will benefit the people of the state. But now, they are using the pillars for commercial purposes and have put up advertisements on some of them," state Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim, who is also the chairman of KMDA, said.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), KMDA, had written a letter to the Metro authority on February 15 but later when they were called in for a meeting in this connection, they did not turn up.

"KMDA CEO has slapped a notice that the advertisements should be pulled down. I have personally requested the General Manager of Metro Railways that in an effort to curb pollution, we will be using these pillars for the purpose of developing vertical gardens," Hakim said. A large number of vehicles ply daily along the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass and use Biswa Bangla Sarani to commute to the airport resulting in severe pollution.

"Hence, increasing the green cover through vertical gardens will reduce the impact of pollution," a senior KMDA official maintained.

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