A massive anti-encroachment drive has been launched in the steel city to make way for malls and multiplexes.
The Bokaro Steel Limited (BSL) owns several thousand acres of land here, but a large chunk of it is facing encroachment. The BSL administration, keen on ushering in the mall-plex culture of metros here, has prepared an ambitious blueprint to develop swanky shopping destinations and multiple-screen theatres.
To begin with, it has served notices to more than 800 illegal residents in sectors IV, V, VI, IX and XI, asking them to vacate land with immediate effect. Highly placed BSL sources said two plots in Sector IV had been identified for malls.
One of the plots has been allotted to a Bihar-based film producer-cum-director, who will also set up a studio. The other has been entrusted to a senior politician who is expected to use his contacts to set up another mall and a 500-seat multiplex.
The mall-plex was envisioned a few years ago by present BSL managing director V.K. Srivastav and DIG Anil Palta. But because of a volatile political situation, the anti-encroachment drive could not be started. BSL chief of communications Sanjay Tewary said the city with a population of more than 400,000 needed an entertainment zone, but he refused to divulge more on their plans. "Right now, we are trying to evict illegal residents occupying our land," he said.
Besides the malls, a Vishal Market is coming up at Sector IV near City Centre. The premises of Devi Cinema, which had remained closed for nine years, has also been handed over to Reliance Fresh.
© The Telegraph / June 18, 2009