Festivities mark power centre shift to Howrah

Mamata Banerjee drove into the premises of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) building.

Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata | Published:October 6, 2013 3:52 am

It was 1 pm Saturday when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee drove into the premises of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) building.

Within minutes,the premises started reverberating with beats of Dhak,blowing of conch shells and bugles,and much mirth and laughter.

The occasion was inauguration of the new state secretariat in the building,which has been renamed Nabanna by Mamata. She unfurled the Tricolour declaring the new Chief Minister’s Office open.

The shift of the secretariat from the historic Writers’ Buildings’,which is undergoing repair,is more than a mere change of address. The Trinamool dispensation,in a decentralization of administration,has spread out 40 of the departments across Kolkata,while only 11 departments,most of them held by the CM,are being housed at Nabanna.

Not only the building,on the other side of the river Hooghly,but the 500-year-old industrial town of Howrah was also decked up to welcome the Chief Minister.

The approach road to the new building was decorated with balloons and billboards where the locals had written,“Ma Durga and Didi are coming to us. It is a boon for us.”

Meanwhile,a group of government employees requested the media to take snaps of “kaas phool” placed in big vases at the both sides of main entrance to the building. “We have collected flowers for Didi to greet her in a unique way,” said an employee.

Mamata,later told the media: “I have come here to have an ‘adda’ with you. Today is Nabanna’ s birthday.” However she left the room in a couple of minutes. The new press corner has been built on the first floor and the CMO,located on the 14th floor,is almost out of bound of the Press.

The CMO is decorated with the photographs depicting various dance forms. Mamata will have the luxury of a private terrace garden on the top floor,adjoining her office.

Nabanna a jalsaghar,no work will be done’

Even as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the new administrative seat of the West Bengal government at HRBC building Saturday,the Opposition CPM termed “Nabanna” —- as the building has been christened by Didi —- as the “Jalsaghar (a room for entertainment ) of chief minister.” “This new building is nothing but a Jalsaghar of the chief minister. It is not a place where the administrative work will be done,” said Gautam Deb,a former CPM minister. He said the CPM leaders will march to the new building with two lakh people seeking justice for them “who are affected by the terror of the ruling party.” He said the march well be organised after the Durga Puja.

“We will submit a list of names of the TMC workers and leaders who have unleashed a reign of terror in the state. We will see what action chief minister takes against them,” he added. Meanwhile,the Leader of the Opposition,Suryakanta Mishra,said that the state government is now ranked first in taking loans from the centre. ENS

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