Millennium Post

NBSTC to construct & lease out multi-storeyed buildings on vacant lands in Cooch Behar

The North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) has planned to construct multi-storeyed buildings that will be rented out for commercial purposes on plots lying idle in Cooch Behar to augment revenue.

According to a senior official of the transport corporation, the proposal has been mooted and a detailed project report (DPR) will be send to the state government for its clearance.

The official further said: "There is a plot in Cooch Behar where the old office of the transport corporation is situated and the divisional office along with some other offices still exist on the plot. If everything goes as planned, the existing offices will be shifted to the main bus terminal in Cooch Behar and the plot will be used to augment revenue."

Though some offices including the divisional office of the corporation is situated on the plot, the land is not of much use. The reason behind this is that the divisional office occupies only a small piece of the land while rest of the land is lying unused. Thus, the entire plot can be used to generate more revenue, the official said.

Explaining their plan, the official said: "The basic plan is to create a multi-storeyed infrastructure and the space in it would be leased out. The corporation is now working on the lease terms."

The corporation is yet to decide that for how many years would the lease agreement be of with a private entrepreneur.

Sources said that the monthly expenditure of the state transport utility is around Rs 20 crore and it manages to earn around Rs 12 crore. The state government provides rest of the money for proper functioning of the transport corporation, the official said adding: "Thus steps are needed to augment income of the corporation and such projects (constructing buildings for commercial purposes) would come up as an alternate source of income."

In a bid to generate more revenue, there is also a plan to set up ATM counters and cellphone towers on vacant plots of the depots of the NBSTC.

The proposal would be forwarded to the state government soon after the DPR is prepared and the work to prepare the blueprint of the project is in process.

It may be mentioned that idle lands of tram depots of the Calcutta Tramways Corporation's (CTC) were leased out and similar step was also taken to lease out terraces of one-storeyed concrete structures in depots of Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC) at Garia, Sarsuna and Thakurpukur to augment revenue generation of idle assets.

Recently, both CTC and CSTC were merged with the West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation (WBSTC) to form the West Bengal Transport Corporation.
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