More importantly, it also points at the simmering discontent over land acquisition in the state. In fact home secretary Ardhendu Sen linked the arson to disgruntlement over land grabbing. But then the government itself has been leaning on the promoters of Vedic Realty, which set up a joint venture (Akash Nirman) with Webel, the states key IT agency, to get land for an IT project adjacent to the deluxe spa and involving majors Infosys and Wipro. That land sharks have been harassing farmers to give up their land is common knowledge. In a hurry to expand, there doesnt seem to be enough transparency in the system, a point Mollah has made time and again. Recently, state IT minister Debesh Das even announced that the state government would be ready to hand over land (90 acres each) to the two IT majors by December. Now, that project appears to be in doubt. And though officially the IT majors say theres no change in Kolkata expansion plans, everyone is not so sure.
What the incident will do to the hospitality sector is anybodys guess. Already, foreign bookings are down due to swine flu advisories, the downturn and so forth.
The torching of Vedic Village, which had a high foreigner interest, will severely impact businessand future projects. Located as it is in Rajarhat, which is being developed as a new township, the incident may even lead people away from the area, and thats the real scare for realtors, already battling a bad year.