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Kolkata pays tribute to Paris victims with its own Eiffel Tower


Next time you want to visit Eiffel Tower, you won't have to go to Paris. Just catch a train to Rajarhat instead.

HIDCO has decided to build a 55-metre replica of the tower to commemorate the 129 victims of the November 13 terror attack in the French capital. The structure will come up at Eco Park, a favourite of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The spot has been chosen to showcase the best of Bengal's artworks and is fast emerging as a major tourist attraction.

“This will be the first such model of the Eiffel Tower in India," Sushim Banerjee, the director-general of the Institute for Steel Development and Growth that has prepared the architectural and structural designs of the Eiffel prototype, told Hindustan Times. “It will be a giant steel structure nearly as tall as an 18-storey building. Had it not been located on the path of flights taking off and landing at Dum Dum (the airport is nearby), we could have tried to build an exact replica," Debasish Sen, chairman of HIDCO, said.

The foundation stone of the project will be laid on Sunday by urban development minister Firhad Hakim. The consulgeneral of France in Kolkata, Damien Syed, has been invited to the event. The structure is being erected to express solidarity with the victims of the Paris terror attack and for world peace. It will take three years to build the tower after the work order is issued, a senior HIDCO official said. At least 300 tonnes of steel will be required to build it. The tower will sport a steel grey colour.

The structure at Eco Park will have two tiers where people can go up and stand to catch a glimpse of the town below. The viewing gallery will be at a height of 25 metres. There will be two lifts to carry the passengers. “There will be a coffee shop and a souvenier shop too," Sen said.

Eiffel Tower is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the world. The 324-metre structure was erected in 1889 and has never ceased to charm tourists. “The decision was taken soon after the Paris attack and received superfast clearance from the state government. We will float a tender soon to select the agency that will build the structure," Sen said. “The base of the structure will rest on 650 square feet," said Banerjee.

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