The house of Sister Nivedita, the Irish disciple of Swami Vivekananda, may be acquired for conservation as a heritage centre if the present occupants refuse to vacate it.
The occupants were initially offered compensation of Rs 30 lakh for vacating the house on Bosepara Lane in Bagbazar area in north Kolkata, where Nivedita who actively participated in the Swadeshi movement, met both moderate and extremist leaders of the Congress party for discussion.
“But they want more. Now, a compensation upto Rs 90 lakh has been offered for the house but they are refusing it,” Mayor Sovan Chatterjee said.
“If they fail to vacate the house, it will be acquired by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation,” Mr. Chatterjee said while releasing a book, ‘Swayamvadi Sri Ramakrishna,’ here yesterday.
The present owners of the house are reportedly demanding Rs 1.10 crore to vacate the house, according to officials.
“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the premises and is eager to conserve it as heritage and the Centre also wants the building preserved,” the mayor said.
Soon after taking over as mayor, Mr. Chatterjee met Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and sought his intervention in the matter.
Subsequently, a 10-member implementation committee headed by Mr. Mukherjee, agreed to provide financial assistance to acquire the building.
Born as Margaret Noble, Nivedita, who was also close to Rabindranath Tagore and Jagadish Chandra Bose and Sri Aurobindo, came to Kolkata in 1898 on a request from Swami Vivekananda to spread education among Indian women.
She set up a school in 1899 which is now run by the nuns of the Ramakrishna-Sarada Mission.