Snehodiya, the comfortable air-conditioned living space for senior citizens at New Town will be inaugurated by state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim on Tuesday.
A project of West Bengal Housing & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO), Snehodiya is a first-of-its-kind venture by any state government agency. Mackintosh Burn has constructed the building located just opposite Swapno Bhor- the senior citizen’s park.
In fact, the idea of the living space for senior citizens was born out of the success and popularity of Swapno Bhor as well as from the attempt to be an inclusive city, which made it make the EWS (economically weaker section) housing and now this senior living habitat.
“In both, there is the attempt to recover only the costs of construction and services from those who use it and there is no profit angle,” a senior official of HIDCO said. Snehodiya has already had its first occupants, with the Ghosh couple checking in a few days ago.
Snehodiya re-interprets the nostalgia of the residents in a modern highrise design, while retaining its fundamental Bengali essence of rooms built around a courtyard. Each suite is air-conditioned, furnished and include cable TV.
Attendants in each floor and nurses attached to the ground floor medical unit are available as required. Professional housekeeping including laundry machine services are available as well. A guest house with six rooms is ready.
Snehodiya has 57 double bedroom suites and 90 single bedroom suites. It has been decided that 75 percent of the price paid on entry will be refunded to the occu- pants or their heirs in case of vacancy.
There is also an activity centre designed to offer space for teaching classes by residents who opt to do so for children from the EWS families.
A general purpose stationery shop near the gate of Snehodiya was opened on Saturday, whereas an SBI ATM and a medicine shop will be opened shortly.
It may be mentioned that Swapno Bhor now has more than 700 members and there is a freeze on new members (except those from Snehodiya, whose residents will be given opportunity to be members automatically) because the community building rooms are not large enough to accommodate more members.