After the workplace,it could be time for Mamata Banerjee to move homes. The West Bengal chief minister may be preparing to leave the Kalighat address that has always been part of her politics and personality,for a new and far grander home: a British-era heritage bungalow that stands in a 16-bigha compound in Alipore.
11 Belvedere Road is currently the borough IX office of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). It could be Chief Minister Abas,the official residence of the chief minister of West Bengal.
Mamatas predecessor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee continued to live in a small apartment in Palm Avenue through his 11 years as chief minister,and still occupies the same premises. Jyoti Basu moved homes a few times before settling down at Indira Bhavan,an irrigation department inspection bungalow.
Security is a major concern at Mamatas current address,30B Harish Mukherjee Road. A team of top officials including the municipal commissioner,DG (Civil) and top PWD officers visited the Belvedere Road premises for a preliminary survey on Sunday,sources said.
The two-storey,red brick building which was initially used by top Raj officials came to house one of KMCs four district offices after independence,and later the borough IX office. Should it become the chief ministers official residence,the KMC office would move to Baker Lane nearby,where a building will come up next to the district magistrates nungalow.
The officials surveyed the premises and took measurements. The chief minister wants the entrance to remain at the southern side and the exit to the east. Officials are planning to erect a wall to block out the labour quarters,and to lay a road at the buildings rear. A new gate has to be put up too, a top borough IX official said.
KMC sources said the entire ground floor was likely to get wooden flooring like it originally had,and a green carpet could be laid on the staircase lead up to the first floor from the hall.
Outside,there will be as much greenery as possible. The lawn will be made bigger and greener. The original foyer will be retained, the official said.
No KMC official was,however,willing to confirm the plans.
Dinbandhu Boral,executive engineer,borough IX,said,I have also heard that the CM would have her residence here but we have had no official communication.
Municipal Commissioner Khalil Ahmed said,There could be some renovation work regarding some offices there but I have not heard about the CM moving there.
PWD secretary Indeevar Pandey said: There is no such plan as of now. We had visited the place some time back but as of now I can tell you there is no such plan.