In the face of objections by environmentalists over the use of east Kolkata wetlands, a Ramsar site, West Bengal environment minister Sovan Chatterjee, on June 5, 2017, said that he was ready for discussion with all stakeholders, for a flyover project connecting Kolkata Airport to Science City.
The vital project requires construction of some pillars over the wetlands, which spans 12,000 hectares or 18 lakh cottahs, for which a ‘miniscule’ 10-12 cottahs will be used, according to the minister. Chatterjee, also the city’s mayor, explained that the flyover would save motorists 45 kms of travel time and also avert congestion. Speaking at an event of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board to mark World Environment Day, he said that the government was ready to hold talks with all stakeholders, including environmentalists, for the project to take off, to benefit everyone.
The minister said, “A 25-cottah lake could be dug up in the adjoining areas of the same mouza, to compensate for the loss of 10-12 cottahs for the project but let’s take the Rs 550-600-crore project forward.” The flyover is proposed to be executed by HIDCO, the New Town Development Authority and the KMDA.