Where realty plays a key election role | Kolkata News -

Where realty plays a key election role | Kolkata News

Bishnupur: High-rise complexes replacing tiled roof huts, shopping malls coming up on farmlands and electric buses replacing cycle vans and motor vans — large parts of South 24 Parganas’ Bishnupur on both sides of Diamond Harbour Road is fast shedding its rural tag and catching up with city life as the vote seekers struggle to adapt themselves to the aspirations and changing demography at this part of the district bordering Kolkata.
With 15 other assembly constituencies in this district, Bishnupur, bordering Thakurpukur and Joka, is going to polls on Tuesday. A TMC stronghold for the last 20 years, this mix of rural and urban belt has undergone a sea change in last five years with almost all big names in the city realty industry, building big residential complexes on both sides of DH Road between Joka and Amtala. Complexes are even coming up on Nepalgunj Road and interiors of Bishnupur, leading to a drastic change in poll agendas.
“We have been living here for the past three years and everyday, returning home is a pain because of the traffic snarls on DH Road. Also, if you don’t own a car, it is difficult to live here as the place lacks adequate public transport,” said Arijit Basu, who owns a flat at a high-rise near Pailan.
As per industry data, the Behala-Thakurpukur-Joka belt has accounted for 47% of realty sales in last two years, a majority of which falls under this Bishnupur constituency.
“Real estate development has been on in full swing in LIG and MIG segments in this area. There are bungalows for high-net-worth individuals as well. We expect the approach road from Joka to Amtala to be developed and broadened to minimize the traffic snarls,” said Saket Mohta, MD, Merlin Group.
Eden Group’s MD Arya Sumant said: “We had started investing in this area considering its potential and proximity to the city. If only the road gets widened and the Joka-Esplanade Metro work picks up pace, there will be more urban population coming in here.”
TMC candidate and sitting MLA for the last 10 years, Dilip Mondal agrees to the same as he says he has made large scale changes to his poll promises this year keeping up with the changing demography.
“In the next five years, there will be at least 25% of urban population living in complexes and high-rises in our area. Hence, we are focusing on widening of the DH Road by 10 metres and construction of a 6km flyover between Konchowki and Ibiza. DPRs of both the projects have been sent to the National Highway Authority of India,” said Mondal.
The spurt in construction activity has also contributed to the local economy as many locals and farmers now work at these projects as labourers and supervisors.
While signs of development are evident along DH Road, the situation is not the same in villages like Rashkhali, Tapna, Julpia and Panakua. “We don’t have piped water. We fetch drinking water from the only hand pump on the other side of the village and for cooking we depend on pond water,” said Kshitish Sardar of Doodhbeshali village in Julpia.
BJP candidate Agniswar Naskar, a petrol pump dealer, wants to cash in on these issues. “Modernisation is important but basic amenities should be the priority,” said Naskar.

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