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Kolkata's historical College Street 'Boi-Para' ceases to exist
Kolkata | February 17, 2007 10:06:39 AM IST
 
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With the demolition of Boi Para (Colony of Books), the famed book market on Kolkata's College Street, an irreplaceable chapter on the literary and academic history of this 'City of Joy' has come to an end.

The process of demolition, which commenced yesterday, has saddened the hearts of countless book lovers in the city since Boi Para was a well-known place for buying books at bargaining prices.

However, the famed Boi Para will emerge again in a new form with the coming up of a majestic book mall named Barna Parichoy.

As per the orders of the Calcutta High Court and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, the century old Boi Para, which was an authorised municipal market, and famous for literarily having every book under the sun, is being razed to the ground.

In its place, the country's first ever book mall will come up that will boast of a floor space of 7, 80,000 square feet.

The Bengal Shelter Housing Development Ltd, a 50:50 joint project of the Government of West Bengal and Shelter Housing Limited will be the promoter of the new project.

"The demolition will take nearly two months. Then the construction work will progress in three phases. The moment the demolition of the third block is finished, we will start with excavation work and basic construction work will start on April 15 known as Bengali New Year," said Samar Nag, Managing Director of Bengal Shelters.

Surrounded by notable institutions like Hindu College, Sanskrit College, Medical College, Calcutta University and Hare School, Boi Para, an indistinguishable part of Kolkata's rich cultural and educational heritage will turn into a seven-storey, well-furnished mall within 36 months.

"For long, College Street has been known for its books. It's an historical place. If the book mall comes up at the place, it will be one of its kinds in the state and will enhance the get-up of the place. It will be a one stop shop for all our books relating to different subjects," said Deepak Mundra, a student.

Efforts by a few activists to save the cheap and affordable book market failed after the Calcutta High Court approved the Kolkata Municipal Corporation's plans.

While all shop owners have been promised equal space in the new mall, it will still leave enough space for modern bookshops and publishers like Penguin and Landmark.

Nonetheless, how the traditional book vendors of the Boi Para will meet the competition of big sharks and the publishers themselves setting up outlets in Barna Parichoy is to be seen. (ANI)

 

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