Will a blue coat help Kolkata?

GN Bureau | February 17, 2012



West Bengal chief minister is out to paint Kolkata blue — all government buildings, flyovers, roadside railings and taxis will be painted in the "colour of the sky". Why? Because, according to the state urban development minister Farhan Hakim, the motto of the government is  'the sky is the limit'.

Romantic ideals aside, doesn't the move smack of limitless arrogance of power? One may even detect a whiff of paranoid megalomania in the move. The present government wants to wipe out the red of the 34 years of the Left.

The indolent city does need a makeover, yes. The roads need work, public spaces need better maintenance, the metro could do with a polish. But the iconic yellow, dented Ambassador taxis don't need a blue coat, neither does the white Shahid Minar (the state could paint that blue as well). Why should public money be blown in indulging the whim of a government trying exorcise the sceptre of a long-ruling opponent?

Do you think Kolkata should put money into painting iteself blue? Post your thoughts.

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