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Painting the city green: politically or environmentally?

KOLKATA, 4 JUNE: The colour, green, has become synonymous with Trinamul Congress, so much so that city dwellers identify the colour more with the party than with environment.
The city is yet to come out of the poll hangover, it seemed today, as the green lights used to lit Victoria Memorial to commemorate World Environment Day, was mistaken as a late celebration of chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee’s victory in the election.
Victoria Memorial was lit green from 6.00 pm to 6.30 pm today by Tata Steel as a part of its nationwide environment awareness campaign ~ Greenfection. It would be lit green again tomorrow from 8.30 pm to 11:30.
A number of people, who were out on a stroll to enjoy the cool breeze in the evening, were at first taken aback when Victoria Memorial that remains spotless white on other days was seen green. As they overcame the initial surprise, they thought perhaps it was done to mark the victory of Trinamul Congress in the Assembly election.
Mr Ajay Ghosh, a student of Calcutta University, on being asked why Victoria Memorial was lit green said confidently: “We had seen morphed photographs of green Writers Buildings. But since the building is red in colour, green light wouldn’t have looked good. Lighting Victoria green was obviously a better idea,” he said. Such edited photographs were widely circulated over Internet before and after the Assembly elections.
Mr Raju Singh, a tonga owner, was heard telling his passengers: “Today it’s only the Victoria Memorial. Wait and watch how Miss Mamata Banerjee reforms the whole state.”
Mr Suman Haldar, a resident of Nadia, who had come to visit the Victoria Memorial with jis wife and daughter and was heading towards Rabindra Sadan after the gates of the memorial were closed. Seeing the memorial lit green, he said: “This is not good. It is a heritage structure. At least this should have been kept away from party colour.” On being told that Victoria Memorial was lit green to commemorate World Environment Day, he heaved a sigh of relief.
Tata Steel employees, wearing T-shirts with Environment Day one-liners, were seen only near the main gate but that too failed to
convince people that Victoria Memorial wore green today for the environment and not for Miss Banerjee.

Soma Basu

Soma Basu

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  1. Soma Basu Soma Basu Post author | June 14, 2011


    SIR, ~ This is with reference to the news item “Painting the City Green: Politically or environmentally?” (5 June). The headline is uncalled for and we would like to clarify that the illumination of Victoria Memorial with green lights on the eve of World Environment Day was part of Tata Steel’s nationwide environment awareness campaign, termed “Greenfection”. The aim is to raise awareness amongst the masses. Citizens are urged to save the environment.
    We once again clarify that the green lighting of Victoria Memorial was a part of the environment awareness campaign, “Greenfection”. We look forward to your cooperation in the future.
    yours, etc., prabhat sharma, (head, corporate affairs & communications, tata steel, jamshedpur, 10 june.

    The correspondent appears not to have read the report, which makes a clear distinction between Tata Steel’s environmental initiative and popular perception. The headline reflects this dichotomy. ~ Ed. S.

    (A letter and its reply from The Statesman edit page on 14 June, 2011)

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