Year on, Rs 20 cr financial centre lies unoccupied

The state government has not yet found any taker for the financial centre, which it has built at New Town in an area of 80,000 square ft.

The financial centre is a part of the financial hub, which the state government is building on the lines of the first financial hub in the country — Mumbai's Bandra-Kurla complex.

All the necessary amenities like water and electricity have been provided to the six-storey building that cost the state exchequer about Rs 20 crore. What is missing is the occupant. Not a single financial institution has come so far to set up their offices in the building.

On October 13, 2010, the Left Front government started the project, with then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee laying the foundation stone of the hub. Pranab Mukherjee, then Union Finance Minister, was also present on the occasion.

The then government started building the centre, about one kilometre from the site of the proposed cluster of financial and banking institutions at New Town. It was ready for occupation by November, 2011.

But Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee laid the foundation stone again on March 10, 2012 as she said the earlier government did precious little in this regard.

"Some non financial institutions showed interest in setting up offices in the building, but we rejected their applications as the area is meant for only finacial institutions,'' Debashis Sen, Principal Secretary, Department of Urban Development, told The Indian Express.

Apart from the financial centre, the state government has already earmarked 25 acres for setting up of a financial hub. Of the 15 plots measuring about 1.5 acres each, so far, nine plots have been given to firms like State Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, United Bank, UCO bank, National Insurance, Calcutta Stock Exchange. Six more plots are still to be alloted. "We are also building a 59-storey building which will also be a part of the financial hub,'' Sen said.

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