Wednesday, February 8

Milan Mela ready for mega makeover

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The Mamata Banerjee government has planned a permanent trade fair ground at Milan Mela. The plan is ready and the project has many firsts, promised architect Vivek Singh Rathore who has been chosen by the state to design the complex. Rathore said that in less than two years the completely refurbished Milan Mela will be ready to welcome visitors.

Every brick inside the fair ground has been razed to make way for the new facilities. The new plan is structured on making the complex the city’s favourite hangout zone throughout the year, with or without a fair being held there. The grounds will have open spaces punctuated with areas where business, exhibitions, transactions and conferences can be held. Cuisine and culture, too, will make their presence felt.

The biggest complaint against the 23-acre Milan Mela was that it felt cluttered with a metalled road running along the boundary and the arbitrarily distributed exhibition halls. “This caused a lot of congestion and robbed the place of its aesthetics. So we have decided to build a road cutting across the ground that will take cars inside, drop off visitors at a given location and then roll into the massive multi-level parking space at the rear end of the ground, or exit on to Bypass,” Rathore said.

In the earlier edition, the halls created less than 50,000sqft usable area for exhibitors. But now, two massive halls will together provide 200,000sqft space separated by an area equipped with an auditorium to hold cultural events and conferences. Beneath this centre, there will be a global cuisine hub.

The two exhibition halls will be covered with exo skin tensile architectural membrane on which 3D projections and illumination graphics will be shown. “There will be films and other audio visual presentations that will be shown on the exo skin — a first in the country,” Rathore said. “The area will be designed in such a way that the crowd gets evenly distributed, without giving a choking feeling. The design has been prepared keeping in mind that at any given point, the maximum gathering could go up to 2.5 lakh,” Rathore explained.

The centrepiece of the project, however, will be the Biswa Bangla tower. It will be a smart clock tower capped with a dome. “The illuminated tower will have a trade museum underneath it that will re-tell the history of Bengal’s trade,” Rathore added.

Source: Times of India

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