Make Kolkata, Rio twin cities, suggests trade body

Kolkata, Nov 25 (IANS) Brazil’s capital Rio De Janeiro and Kolkata can be made twin cities for their better development, says a trade body.

‘A city like Rio De Janeiro, capital of Brazil, can be looked as for forgoing a twin partnership with Kolkata,’ said a report by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on making Kolkata a more vibrant and beautiful city by 2020.

‘The Indian government has already identified Brazil as a strategic partner in Latin America in 2007, after the Red Fort Declaration (of 1996),’ it added.

The report said that as both are prominent cities with vibrant bases and rich culture, they can play an instrumental role in driving the growth of their respective countries – based on partnership and mutual cooperation.

‘Investors of both cities can explore and invest in each others’ economics, thereby stimulating overall growth and development,’ it said.

The report pointed out that almost 80 percent of Kolkata’s pavements were either occupied by hawkers or encroached by illegal settlers.

It asked the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to identify pavements that can be beautified in the short and long terms and a comprehensive pavement beautification plan be prepared.

‘A citizen-centric approach is needed to bring the substantial progress in the city. All the suggestions and recommendations of the city dwellers attached with the report will be submitted before Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Sovan Chatterjee by January 2011,’ ICC officials said at a seminar here Wednesday.

The trade body also suggested that projects be taken for the beautification of riverfronts, central business district and pavements across the city as a major step for making Kolkata a world class city.

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