Calcutta To Paint the Town Blue

“From now on, all government buildings, whenever they are re-painted, will be done in sky blue,” local minister says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images/Flickr Open
    The government's new motto is "the sky is the limit."

    The eastern Indian city of Calcutta is getting a blue makeover.

    The city’s government buildings, bridges, famous landmarks, roadside railings, flyovers and even the prevalent bright yellow taxis are to be painted a shade of light blue on orders of the government’s chief minister, The Indian Express reported.

    State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim told the paper Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee decided on the single-color makeover “because the motto of the new government is 'the sky is the limit.'”

    Even the lights of Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal will illuminate “sky blue,” the city’s Telegraph newspaper reported.

    Owners of private buildings will also have to keep with the new shade of the city and pay out of their own pockets to repaint their buildings, Minister Hakim told The Indian Express. “The necessary government orders will be issued soon.”

    The chief minister’s mystical vision has already begun to come to life. Drab roadside railings have been transformed to light blue and white, officials said.

    The proposal to revamp the entire city blue has taken some backlash by political oppositions. “The state government is preoccupying itself with non-essential and not prioritizing development,” State Congress leader Om Prakash Mishra told The Indian Express.

    On the other hand the Chief’s Minister’s vision of blue is welcomed and viewed by the Telegraph as “the crucial first step in making a city healthier, cleaner and generally more user-friendly” for Calcutta’s more than 14 million inhabitants.

    “It could, with as little doubt, sort out its core problems — chaotic healthcare, inability to implement pollution control norms, arsenic in the water, archaic sewers and garbage disposal, bad roads, killer buses for public transport, an airport falling apart and beyond dismal, priceless paintings rotting away in public art galleries, to name a few,” the newspaper wrote in an editorial.