The three-decade-old proposal to establish a permanent bench of Calcutta high court in Jalpaiguri seems to have got a fresh lease of life after the state's finance department sanctioned Rs 352.24 crore for construction of a court building, following the high court's sanction of the scheme.
After the finance department approval, PWD's Jalpaiguri construction division has started the process to float a tender within this fiscal.
The permanent bench (which is called the Jalpaiguri circuit bench) building will be constructed on 40 acres of land off the National Highway 31D. This land was taken over by the judiciary from the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority in 2007.
The judiciary had asked the finance department to sanction the fund after the Calcutta high court okayed the revised scheme. The sanction letter had reached the Jalpaiguri construction division of the PWD in December, 2016.
"We have received a letter from the finance department, where Rs 352.24 crores — the entire project cost — has been sanctioned. We have been asked to do all the related works like floating and awarding tenders," said Pankaj Mitra, executive engineer, PWD (Jalpaiguri construction division).
Alongside the five-storey court building, PWD has also been asked to begin the process of constructing the chief justice's bungalow and 15 other bungalows for high court judges. The court complex will consist of a 400-seat auditorium and a swimming pool. PWD officials expect that all the construction work will be completed within four years.
When the foundation was laid in 2012, 21,263 cases from north Bengal were pending with the Calcutta high court.