Work has begun on the construction of two markets in New Town which will have cafes with glass frontage and will stay open till late into the night to ensure women do not feel unsafe after stepping out of their workplaces. Officials of Hidco, the implementing agency of New Town, said it would take about a year for the markets to be opened to the public. Hidco is building the markets at a cost of more than Rs 8 crore to rehabilitate hawkers of New Town. Construction started last week. One of the markets is coming up near the Tata Consultancy Services office in New Town and the other near the office of the deputy commissioner, traffic, Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate, behind the New Town bus stand. Metro had on June 30 reported that a team from IIT Kharagpur had suggested to Hidco to keep cafes and bookstores in the township open till late hours. The experts feel this would prevent the roads from becoming desolate and unsafe once the office crowd melts away. A Hidco official said both markets had been designed to house cafes that will have a glass facade. “Both markets will have eateries and cafes on the ground floor which will stay open till late at night,” the official said. Debashis Sen, the chairman-cum-managing director of Hidco, said bright lights would be installed on the market’s walls and in the cafes. According to an officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate, crime rate goes down in a neighbourhood which is well-lit and where people move around well into the night. Hidco is also going to set up a hangout zone near City Centre New Town, which will remain open till well past midnight. Hidco had engaged IIT Kharagpur last December to conduct a study to find out what people felt about living and working in New Town. One of the sore points that has emerged is that working women feel insecure stepping out after dusk in the township.
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