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Even as Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan is all set to shoot a series of promotional campaigns for Bengal tourism “for free”, the state government has decided to gift a luxurious apartment worth Rs 2.5 crore at Rajarhat to the superstar as “a token of appreciation”.
It has been found out that the apartment which is likely to be gifted to Shah Rukh measures a little over 4,000 sq ft and is being constructed at Westin, one of the projects of Shristi Group in Rajarhat. Located opposite Gate number 1 of Eco Tourism Park, the project would be a premium mixed-use development, with a 5-star hotel, luxury residencies, commercial office spaces, world class health and wellness centre, with additional features like helipad facilities, and sophisticated security systems imported from Israel and the US such as emergency rescue system and blast mitigation system.
“The apartments would be ready by the third quarter of 2016 and the entire project including the hotel would be complete by 2017. The government would decide when to hand him over the keys, in 2016 or when the project is fully complete,” said a senior official of the state administration.
State tourism minister Bratya Basu had said on September 30, “He (Shah Rukh) has said he would not take any money but we know he is a professional actor and we have made provisions for fees to be paid to him.”
Officials of Shristi Group, however, refused to comment on the reports. “Yes, we are in touch with few Tollywood and Bollywood celebrities. However, unfortunately we will not be able to name them at this stage,” said Ashvinder Bharj, executive vice-president of the Group.
When asked by The Indian Express about the gift, Shah Rukh, who was in town on Tuesday to promote his latest release, Dilwale, said he was not keen on accepting any gift. “I have not been told about this (the flat) and even if you ask me, if somebody is to give this to me out of love, I will not accept it. Not because I don’t love you, but it is my duty to do everything I can not only for Bengal but the rest of the country as well,” he had said during a press conference .
Thanking Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for choosing him as the brand ambassador of Bengal, the Bollywood actor said whatever he has done so far was very little compared to the honour and love he has got from all. “It is a great honour that I am a brand ambassador of Bengal. I had not imagined this in my wildest dreams. For me it is the biggest honour and is extremely humbling. Whatever little I can do in my smallest way, I just want to do that. I don’t want anything in return, I have been given so much already,” Shah Rukh said.
Further, he added: “Mujhe sirf aapka pyar chahiye (I only want your love). When I come here I get fried fish from didi. That is the greatest gift. When there is a cricket match, 70,000 people come to watch the game and Masha Allah when we win, they come in lakhs to congratulate me. I don’t need anything more than this.”