To display the only street in the world that is being renamed after St Teresa, before foreign delegates come to attend Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS)-2017, the lighting show on the thoroughfare, will continue till the third week of January.
Park Street, which is now known as Mother Teresa Sarani, is famous for Christmas lighting from the nineteenth century and people from all over the country used to come here to see the lighting arrangement and enjoy lunch and dinner in the restaurants situated along the “food street that never sleeps”.
The old glory of the street has been revived by an initiative taken by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee four years ago, to decorate it with special lighting arrangement and it draws lakhs of people during the Christmas Festival from mid-December to January 1 every year. She not only inaugurated the Christmas Festival, that is being organised by the Tourism Department in collaboration with the Kolkata Police and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on December 16, but specially urged Kolkata’s Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and Commissioner of Kolkata Police Rajeev Kumar to ensure that the revellers do not face any trouble.
For the first time in the past four years, the huge decorative lighting arrangements across the road will keep increasing the grace of the heritage pathway till January 22, 2017 to project it before the delegates visiting the city for the forthcoming BGBS, which is scheduled to be held on January 20 and 21, next year.
In the past three years, the work to put down the lighting arrangements on Park Street started on January 2 and takes another eight to ten days. But this time the work would start only after January 22.
According to an official in Nabanna, the step to keep the lighting for another 22 days were taken soon after the direction came from the Chief Minister.
Delegates from countries including US, Canada, China, Italy, Germany and Japan will be visiting the city in the next few days to attend the BGBS that is being organised every year since 2015, first of all to attract investment in the state and secondly, to promote Bengal to the entire world.
Park Street has always been the centre of attraction for the people visiting Bengal from different parts of the globe. Thus, showcasing the initiative of the state government of reviving its lost spirit is considered to be one of the many other things in the state that would attract the attention of the delegates.
The unique feature of this year’s lighting arrangement is the rationalisation of expenditure by using proper technology. For the first time 400 watt metal halide lights were replaced with 150 watt LED lights. Every year 1,000 such lights are installed in Park Street and St Paul’s Cathedral premises for better illumination during Christmas. Just by using the LED lights, the power consumption will be reduced by around 250,000 W. At the same time, number of service points from where power is supplied for various lighting arrangements have increased from 14 to 23 in Park Street. It would also result to the reduction in power loss as long cables would no longer be required to supply power.
The official said: “There are basically two types of lighting arrangements in Park Street. One is the “power lighting” that includes 1,000 LED lamps for proper illumination of the area while the other is the decorative lighting. There are on-duty staff during the Christmas Festival, who monitor the crowd, and send messages to the senior officials in this regard everyday at around 12.30 am to 1 am. The senior officials consult with the police and decide to put a section of the “power lighting” arrangement off when the crowd turns thin which helps in saving power. However, all the lights will remain on for the entire night from December 24 to January 1.”
He further said that the work of setting up permanent decorative lights on Park Street is in process. Six out of total 12 iron structures have already been set up. The quality of the lighting arrangements that will remain round the year, as directed by the Chief Minister, will be much better than those are fitted during Christmas as they had to withstand heavy storm and rainfall.