A team of architects and civil engineers, faculty and students of IIT Kharagpur, had been working on a project to revive the College Street boipara (book hub). At that point of time, they had no idea that Amphan would lash the city and many of the makeshift stalls would fall like a pack of cards. Considering the relevance of the project after the cyclone, the IIT team has got in touch with the Presidency Alumni Association and the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, both of which are trying to collect funds to bring the book hub back to life.
The project was executed by the IIT-Kgp team as part of a Sandhi project — the ministry of human resources development’s initiative to revive the city’s heritage. A Sandhi project is already on in the city as the IIT Kgp team has collaborated with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to revive the Town Hall.
The Boipara revival project is a creative economy experiment where the stalls will be recreated with cost effective building materials, keeping the storage needs of the books in mind. While themes and installations to highlight the 200- year-old history of the hub have been suggested in the sketches, care has been taken not to tamper with the original look of the place. The entire stretch on two sides of the Calcutta University, Presidency University, Bankim Chatterjee Street, College Row and Shyama Charan De Street have been considered for the layout that has been prepared. The pavements, on which the stalls stand, lanes that open up from these main roads and are also dotted with book shops, have also been included in the map of the project.
“We have thought of several clusters in the plan that we have drawn up. While on the one hand, it will be a cleaner look that maintains social distance, on the other care will be taken not to tamper with the original look of boipara,” said Joy Sen, senior faculty and head of the project.
Source: Times of India