Thursday, January 18, 2018

EV Charging Design Competition

At NKDA: Designers' Meeting for EV Charging

New Town already has bike taxis, e-rickshaws, eco carts (golf carts) and EVs (Electric Vehicles). Hidco has an EV of Mahindra (e2O) that is used often. The idea is to encourage use of EVs as much as possible to minimise emissions and become green friendly. In fact, like our recent dockless GPS controlled public cycle sharing scheme, we are also thinking of having shared GPS controlled EVs.

However, users of EVs suffer from what The Economist refers to as the "charging anxiety", an anxiety that battery will drain out and then the EV will stop. To address this, it is necessary to have fast charging stations every few kilometres so that there is always a place for charging the battery of an EV.

So a design competition was invited by NKDA (see ) and the idea is that external design and internal technical design will be done by intending persons for being evaluated by an expert panel . The first would be given a prize of Rs 1 lakh. Today was the day of pre-design conference.

We clarified that (a) the design would be validated first with a prototype (b) 7 days' time extension as prayed for would be allowed (c) "fast charging" should be ideally 2 hours (d) normal / slow charging options for scooties/ totos etc as well as fast charging option should be there (e) prepaid meters would be used.

Friday, January 12, 2018

New Town, the M.I.C.E destination of South Asia... (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions)

New Town Kolkata is the Singapore of Kolkata. It is a Green City, It has the best infrastructure. It has IT, Financial and Educational Hubs. It has a fine work-life balance.It is becoming a leading MICE destination of South Asia.

There is the largest urban park in India, a 480 acre Eco Park where  one can experience Seven Wonders, Japanese Forest and Sculpture Garden. Rose Garden, Butterfly Garden and Heliconia Garden. Mask Garden, Tea Garden and Herbal Garden. Duo-cycling, boating and zorbing. Rabi Aranya, Musical Fountain and Mother's Wax Museum. Toy train, Cafe Ekante and Children's Park. Most of all, clean air, green vistas and blue water provides a fine relaxing experience Eco Park. No wonder, it witnessed the highest footfall (1.38 lakh) on 1st January 2018 in Kolkata.

 Work happens in the IT Hubs of TCS Gitanjali, DLF-I, DLF-II, Eco Space, Candor Techspace, Webel IT Park and more than 50 IT offices. 23 banks and financial institutions have taken up plots in the Financial Hub while the huge SBI Institute of Management has started functiong. A FinTech Hub is also being set up. Quality power, pure water from Hoogly River, dedicated Optical Fibre Duct Network, and Public Art consisting of original sculptures and the upcoming Biswa Bangla Gate add to the interest of New Town.

St Xaviers' University, IIT, Alia University, Presidency University, Amity University, UEM University, Techno India as well as other Colleges and institutions of higher learning is likely to make New Town a rich source of youth and talent to form a virtuous cycle with the IT and FinTech Hub.

Besides the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre with its upcoming 100 key collocated hotel(see picture above), there are star hotels (Novotel, Pride, Swissotel, Holiday Inn and Westin) as well as Ekante Cottages and more than 19 OYO homes. With more than 78 food courts including Cafe Ekante, and attractions like Mother's Wax Museum, Nazrul Tirtha, Rabindra Tirtha, Swapna Bhor Seniors' Park, Business Club, Golf Arena, and, of course, Eco Park, New Town is fast emerging as a MICE destination for the country and south Asia.

The Tata Medical Centre is a prime cancer hospital of Eastern India. Ohio Hospital, Bhagirathi Neotia Mother and Child Care, Shankar Netrlaya, Alo Eye Hospital and many upcoming units incluing Nursing Colleges make New Town an ideal Health Care destination as well.

New Town has an area of 7,000 acres, designed for a population of 1 million, is 5 minutes from the Airport, is being connected with metro rail, and is always innovating with experiments such as bike taxis, energy saving street lights, GPS enabled smart bicycle sharing, and Wi Fi enabled 10 km long Biswa Bangla Sarani.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Brainstorming Session for Innovation Centre

At IT&E Department today: Innovation Inputs
The State Govt has decided to set up a Centre of Innovation at Bantala. A building construction has already started and is expected to be commissioned within 2018.

In order however to decide how the centre should function, we held a brainstorming session with many thought leaders and experts from IIM, IIT, University of Kolkata, WBUT, Assocham, PwC, Sumantrana, Intueri, Praxis, Fujisoft, Start-Ups and others.

After intense discussions, it was roughly decided as follows (I requested all to give inputs separately by 31st January):
1. The goal of the Centre of Innovation would be to produce (a) patents / IPRs and (b) upscale knowledge in emerging areas like blockchain, fintech, IoT, robotics etc
2. The aim would be to network with industry and academic institutions by video workshops / interactions, webinars, web, linked-in, apps etc as well as actual workshops
3. The task would be to invite successful patent holders and mentors to handhold aspiring young innovators and help them with industry problems and mentors.

Saturday, December 30, 2017


(Above and Below) Salt Lake Telegraph dt 29 Dec 2017

Prompted by the news in today's Salt Lake Telegraph, we compiled a list below. These however do not include events and soft launches such as Sahaj Path / Jamini Roy Paintings on Metro Pillars, Exhibition of Original Jamini Roy Paintings in Nazrul Tirtha, Book Fair, New Town Mela, Pous Mela, Kolkata International Film Festival, Corporate Golf Championship, Women's Marathon, Children's Day etc 
List of projects inaugurated during 2017
Sl No.
Name of the projects
Date of Inauguration

Rooftop Organic Garden (Roof Katha)
Japanese Forest

Sonar Kella Udyan

Self Help Ground Market near Eco Space

Hawkers Market near DCP Office, Action Area –I,

Bike Taxi at New Town

12 bay Golf Driving Range at Golf Arena

Double Decker Boat (Santa Monika)

Sculpture Garden on History of Bengal with light and sound system

Biswa Bangla Convention Centre

Replica of Seven Wonders

Nazrultritha Hall 3

Bus Stand in Action Area IIIG

Cycle Share
GPS Enabled dockless public cycle sharing scheme
Jatragachhi Road over bridge

Nazrultritha Archive

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Cattle Shelter

Cattle Shelter in New Town:
Being Commissined

Traffic accidents sometimes occur in trying to save stray cattle on the speedways of New Town. The Biswa Bangla Sarani has witnessed a handful of accidents in recent times leading to injury to cattle as also persons. We have held meetings with nearby village Pradhans and tried to create awareness of not letting loose stray cattle, but the incidents of cows and buffaloes coming onto the busy streets of New Town have not been altogether eliminated.

So, alongwith continued sensitisation of cattle owners of neighbouring areas, NKDA issued a circular 0n 7.12.2017 under section 51 (1) of the NKDA Act saying that NKDA will forcibly remove stray cattle from roads if this causes encroachment of public roads.

 A new cattle shed has been just built in Action Area 1D of New Town (see pic above) and a committee has been formed with veterinary doctors and officers of NKDA and local thana to determine the modalities such as feed sourcing, care of cattle kept in the shelter till its return to the owner, the costs to be recovered and for giving training to staff to be deployed. In the first meeting of the committee held on 19th Dec, it was decided that staff will be trained at Haringhata unit of the A.R.D. Department's unit.

We expect the cattle shelter to start functioning from first quarter of 2018. We expect that New Town roads to be safer from stray cattle distractions thereafter.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Events and Festivals in New Town

Last week, we had an administrative meeting with police, engineers, transport, Hidco amd NKDA officers to deal with the anticipated rush of visitors on 24-25th Dec 2017 and 1 Jan 2018.
Footfalls in Eco Park and surroundings are increasing by the day especially in this festival season and new attractions such as the Seven Wonders and Light-n-Sound Shows at the Sculpture Garden, the footfalls are more by several degrees compared to last year. On top of this, a mega musical event (Arijit Singh Show) on 24th Dec which is a Sunday and the Christmas Eve will make things quite unmanageable unless we plan for it.

Some of the measures that will be taken in this period include additional 20 ticket counters, deployment of police officers and civil officers, manning of watch towers, setting up of May I Help You Booths, additional blocks of temporary toilets and special car parking and lighting arrangements. Additional 100 or so buses will also be deployed on special days.

Given below is a list of events that will happen in this part of the year. Incidentally, yesterday, Hon'ble CM took a meeting of ministers and secretaries of various departments at Nabanna for necessary actions for the BGBS 2018 on 16-17 Jan 2018 which will be held at BBCC at New Town
* * *
List of Events in New Town

23 Dec to 31 Dec 2017
3.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.
New Town Mela Ground
New Town Meal 2017

4 Jan  to 14 Jan 2018
12 noon to 8 p.m.
New Town Mela Ground
New Town Boi Mela
Book Fair

23 Dec to 31 Dec 2017
6 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.
Opp. New Town Business Club
Marudhar Mela
Rajasthani Folk Festival

16 Dec 2017
7.00 p.m.
New Town Business Club
sitar recital
By Mr.  Rohan Das Gupta

24 Dec 2017
6.00 p.m. onwards
New Town Business Club
Xmas Eve
Xmas carols, fashion show and musical performance by IMAN

31 Dec 2017
7.00 p.m. onwards
New Town Business Club
New Year Eve
performance by Durnibar and Priyani Vani from Bollywood and followed by DG

23 Dec 2017 to 1 Jan 2018
1.00 p.m to 10.00 p.m.
New Town Business Club
Special Menu and Bar Tender special bar tender cocktail
Café Ekante Special

17 Dec 2017
9.30 am onwards
Biswa Bangal Convention Centre
ISA Foundation,
Spiritual Talk

15-17 Dec 2017
On going 
Biswa Bangal Convention Centre
Indian Dental Association

19 Dec, 2017
9.30 am to 1:00 p.m.
Biswa Bangal Convention Centre
Spiritual Talk

20 Dec 2017
9.30 a.m to 5 p.m.
Biswa Bangal Convention Centre
IT related

24 – 25 Dec 2017
1.00 p.m. to 4.p.m.
Café Ekante
Special XMAS buffet
Rs. 700 to 800/- only

31 Dec  2017 and 1st Jan  2018
1.00 p.m. to 4.p.m.
Café Ekante
Special New Year buffet
Rs. 700 to 800/- only

17 Dec 2017
4:00 p.m onwards
Eco Park
DG performance
Country Netherland

24 Dec 2017
5p.m. onwards
Eco Park
performance by Arijit Singh
Bollywood celebrity

19 – 20 Dec, 2017
12 noon onwards
Eco Park
CLSV Kolkata 2017-
Display of commercial Vehicle e
Organised by Green Ideaz