KOLKATA: The West Bengal home department has initiated measures to step up security at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Kolkata residence, even as the state police rebuffed reports of any such move.
The state Public Works Department had earlier this month floated a notification, inviting tenders for construction of two watchtowers overlooking the chief minister's Harish Chatterjee Street residence in the southern part of the city.
According to the tender notice, a copy of which is with the PTI, a 90-day deadline has been set for the project, which is estimated to cost over Rs 74 lakh.
"The construction of two watchtowers at the residence of chief minister at 30 B Harish Chatterjee Street during 2018-19 will be undertaken at an estimated amount of Rs 74.02 lakh within 90 days' from the date of commencement of the project," the notice said.
Confirming the development, a senior official of the PWD department said the contract for the project will be given to a company with the "experience and ability to meet the demands of Kolkata Police".
"The organisation will not only have to complete the construction work in a span of three months, but take responsibility of maintaining the towers for the next five years. The contract will have all such details," he told PTI.
The department has already constituted a four-member team to look into the technical and financial details of the submitted tenders, the official said, adding that the bids will be opened on October 31.
Asked about the location of the two towers, a senior official of the state home department said a decision to that effect was yet to be taken.
"The towers should be located at a convenient site to enable round-the-clock vigil on the chief minister's residence. There are factors we need to discuss with the company that will be entrusted with the responsibility of erecting the two towers, based on technical specifications," he said.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal Police, in a tweet, dismissed the reports and said people with "vested interests" were spreading "incorrect information".
"Misinformation is being spread by some persons nd (and) media with vested interest stating that watchtowers in residence of Honble Chief Minister West Bengal are being erected.
This is totally motivated and there is no such decision," it tweeted.