Panchasayar, Garia, one of Asia’s largest housing societies, a cooperative society for the staff of Accounts and General West Bengal and Income Tax Department of West Bengal, is the place where I spent the first 7-8 years of my life.
Once upon a time this place was a wet land with just shrubs and bushes and water. There was no public transportation except a local train dropping you at Garia station about 3 kms away. The area was then developed by digging 5 large lakes, thus the name ‘Pancha Sayar’ the soil from such digging was used to build brick and level the place. When the plot allotments started, there was not even an electricity connection here. The nearest medicine shops were at Garia. In case of emergency there was not even a hospital or health clinic nearby. At nights there were dacoits and jackals knocking at your doors. At such conditions, without electricity surviving one dacoit attack my parents and I spent our days.
Today, Kolkata’s one of most prestigious hospital Peerless Hospital stands on the land given by Panchasayar Cooperative Society. And yesterday I witnessed the inauguration of New Garia Halt station. A new station between Baghajatin and Garia stations of the South Kolkata Railway which also connects the New Garia Metro station called Kabi Subhash.
From being a wet land with no electricity connection frequented by none other than the dacoits of Baishnavghata Patuli locality, to having two rail stations, the Ambuja’s massive multi-storied residential flats, the Peerless Hospital, the International Fish Processing Facility Center, Panchasayar came such a long way and it is wonderful for me to witness such big changes in such a small life. Every time I am here, I feel blessed.