Kolkata, Mar 4: The move to give Kolkata the distinctive blue-white signature theme has earned brickbats from opposition parties, prompting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to back her decision today by giving example of famed "Pink City" Jaipur.
"I had the idea of decorating Kolkata blue and white after I visited the pink city Jaipur," Banerjee said at a programme TMC-run Kolkata Municipal Corporation at Bhowanipur, her Assembly constituency in south Kolkata.
Over the past three years in several parts of the city state-owned buildings, small and big parks, bridges, road railings, boulevards, flyovers, traffic police booths as well as new taxis were given a sky blue and pristine white look, Mamata's favourite colour.
Criticising the idea, Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra, a CPI (M) central committee member had said, "She (Mamata) may be thinking about 'Pink City' Jaipur, but then that city has its historical reasons." State BJP president Rahul Sinha had dubbed the decision by the Trinamool Congress-led KMC board as "Tughlaq-like".
The opposition parties also came down hard on the TMC-run Kolkata Municipal Corporation's tax waiver scheme, decided in a meeting of its mayor-in-council last year, for people who would opt for painting their houses in blue and white colours.
City Mayor Sovan Chatterjee said the scheme was prepared to provide an incentive to owners as many houses in the city were in a dilapidated state bereft of any paint for many years.
The waiver will, however, not be available to commercial buildings, offices and flat owners, he had clarified. However, this decision also raised the hackles of Mishra, who wondered whether the citizens did not even have the right to choose the colours of their homes.