Man wins apartment after five decades in rented flat

February 22nd, 2008 - 3:04 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, Feb 22 (IANS) Mahendra K. Goenka, a man who lived in a rented flat in Howrah town in greater Kolkata area for the past 50 years, has won a contest that gives him an apartment in Eden City Mahestala, an upmarket project funded by foreign direct investment. It was an unexpected windfall for small-time businessman Goenka when the prize was announced Thursday.

London-based REIT Asset Management, which plans to create $1 billion in assets in India in the next three years, has tied up with Eden Realty Ventures Pvt Ltd, led by US-based Indrajit De, to set up the projects at Bonhooghly in the north and Maheshtala in the south of greater Kolkata.

Eden City Maheshtala, the first project of the group on Kolkata’s outskirts, Thursday announced the winner of the contest, which gave a chance to the winner to win a luxurious flat in the super premium condominium.

The contest was held at the just concluded 4th India International Mega Trade Fair 2008.

Goenka, who won the prize, has been living in a rented flat in Kolkata’s twin town Howrah for the last 50 years. So he was in a daze when Thai Consul General Manop Mekpreeyanthong handed over the keys to his brand new flat.

Eden Realty Ventures is investing $20 million in two mini-townships here.

REIT India Chairman David Cohen finalised three projects in India out of 140 proposals and of the three, two are developed by Eden Realty Ventures around Kolkata.

REIT, the London-based real estate management trust, owns $6.8 billion worth of assets in Europe. The twin project in Kolkata in collaboration with Eden is their maiden venture with an Indian partner since their other project at Pune is a 100 percent foreign direct investment.

According to Cohen, the projects are a beginning of “a long-standing relationship with the state and the city”.

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