Reliance gets green signal for Kolkata market redevelopment


Kolkata : Uncertainty over handing over a city market to Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Retail Ltd for redevelopment seemed to have ended with Left Front allies that had initially opposed the idea signalling their green signal to the Kolkata Municipal Corp (KMC).

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The decision was taken at the Left Front's district committee level meeting Friday where the Front partners – Forward Bloc, Communist Party of India (CPI) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) – finally endorsed the civic body's decision to hand over the Park Circus Municipal Market in central Kolkata to Reliance Retail for reconstruction.

"I have explained to the Front leaders that we have allowed Reliance Retail for redevelopment of the market since they are the highest bidders in the global tender call. The question of allowing them for retail business comes much later," said KMC mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya.

But whether Reliance Retail Ltd (RRL) would be allowed to start the retail business in a particular portion of the reconstructed building would be decided later, Bhattacharyya said.

The Left parties were principally opposed to the entry of Reliance in retail market.

The Mukesh Ambani-owned RRL attended the global tender call of KMC – the largest civic body in West Bengal – for redeveloping the Park Circus Municipal market.

According to KMC sources, RRL was the highest bidder that agreed to pay over Rs.30 million for the project. RRL was given the market building on a 99-year lease by the Kolkata civic authority.

Earlier, the proposal of handing over the market to Reliance was deferred in the KMC mayor-in-council (MiC) meeting as the Left Front partners disagreed with the mayor's willingness to rope in Reliance for the project.