Monday, October 24, 2016

100 residential plots in AA2B for allotment

The Standing Committee of the Cabinet today decided to allot 100 residential plots of sizes varying from 400 sq m to 150 sq m. on 99 years' leasehold basis to MIG and HIG persons. 75 will be allotted through lottery and 25 through auction, the slightly larges ones and nearer to broader roads generally being of the auction category. Some will be co-operative category too, from among the lottery group. Details are being worked out.
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Ei Samay dt 24 Oct 2016

Ei Samay dt 24 Oct 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Greening Metro Piillars

For some time, I have been thinking of ways in which the dreary-looking sky-blocking elevated corridors of Metro / Road Flyovers could be converted into interesting street level art objects. I have learnt of citizen experiments in Kochi and Bangalore where certain stretches of Metro pillars were brightly painted by citizen groups or local chapter of Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) using bright spray paint or poster coloured graffiti paints. I had indeed given this as one of the six themes of a Design Hackathon  conducted with help of IIA in March this year at Rabindra Tirtha. However, although some of the six themes have fructified and being taken to the implementation stage (light sculpture in Eco Park and canal front development at Bagjola) , the Metro Pillar beautification project has not taken off.

It was then that I recalled that we had done a vertical garden at Eco Park (see picture below) and had also, separately, used creepers to camouflage walls of a sculpture garden at Eco Park. I invited senior officers of Forest Department to suggest if the concept could be used to make the metro pillars green. Of course, the complex iron lattice back-up of the vertical garden would not be appropriate for structural reasons and costs and so only creepers were to be considered.

The problem was that sunlight would not be available beneath such elevated structures. So the forest officers would have to locate appropriate species like money plants that we grow indoors. Dr K. Kunaldaivel, IFS, Deputy Conservator of Forest has been working on it and has just sent me the following photo. If the plants survive, we will escalate and extend to other pillars:

Experimenting with creepers to add green to metro pillars of
New Town

Vertical Garden in Eco Park near Gate 4
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Times of India dt 23 Oct 2016

Saturday, October 22, 2016

e District Services for New Town

Earlier this week, the IT Department showcased a number of digital solutions in a meeting at Nabanna. We from NKDA have since decided to avail of the e District Services for the following :

1. Building Plan Sanction
2. Water Connection
3. Completion Certificate
4. Death & Birth  Certificate
5. Trade Licence
6. Record of Title

Conversations have been initiated with Webel. Work on study of systems may start by November.
It may be added that NKDA is the only ULB in the state that fully uses online building plan sanction scheme for all plans. Even then, it has opted to be in sl 1 so as to ensure compatibility with other ULBs of the country
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Friday, October 21, 2016

Plastic Waste Management

We had a meeting today with Member Secretary Pollution Control Board, chief Engineer WBPCB, CEO NKDA Debapriya Biswas and Member Secretary NKDA Gopal Ghosh at Nagarayan Bhavan to discuss about the latest guidelines on Plastic Waste Management. I recalled that Coca Cola had showed me few days ago how plastic bottles can be recycled into yarns and then into cloth and shirts / T-shirts and bags etc. Photos on my mobile taken that day:

WBPCB explained to us the provisions of the new rules which mandated segregation of domestic waste, charging of fees from shops that use plastic bags and involving recyclers and ragpickers into the process. They would also give us some lists so that we can have a discussion on the way forward in so far s New Town's plastic handling is concerned.

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HT dt 21 Oct 2016

Ei Samay dt 21 Oct 2016

Millennium Post dt 2016

Khabar 365 dt 21 Oct 2016
t2  dt 21 Oct 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Interaction with Puja Committees

Meeting with Puja Committees at Nandan 3
19 Oct 2016
I, along with Atri Bhattacharya, Pr Secretary I&CA Department held meeting with Puja Committees to discuss abut conservation and display of handicrafts and artworks of the Durga Puja at Eco Park, New Town. Several Committees came including Suruchi Sangha, AK Block Salt Lake, Ultadanga Pallishri, Sribhumi, Babubagan, Santoshpur Avenue, Kalighat Milan Sangha, Hindustan Park, Tala Baroari, Beliaghata 33 Palli, 75 Palli, Tridhara, Chetla Agrani etc. Others would be contacted by I&CA officers and details sent to UD by a week or so.

It was explained that durable exhibits like those made with fibre-glass, stone, steel etc could be kept outdoors in Eco Park while sensitive decorations made with wood, cotton, earth etc can only be kept indoors in a protected dust-proof environment. For outdoor installations, a brick and cement foundation with spotlights and fencing would be built by Hidco. For indoor objects, a room with air-conditioning facility would be kept in Mother's Wax Museum -II (to be shortly commissioned) till these are transported in another location within Eco Park which will have storage rooms. The exhibits would be rotated at suitable intervals. Installation at the new locations would be done by Hidco engineers in consultation with the artist / club concerned so as to optimise the displays after reinstallation.

Officers from Hidco would contact the nodal persons identified by the club and work out strategies and procedures. This will start from this Saturday with a visit to Suruchi Sangha. Meanwhile all were requested to preserve the articles carefully.
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Millennium Post dt 20 Oct 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016


I reviewed the following projects intesively today:

1. State Convention Centre
2. MWM-2
3. Japanese Garden
4. Bagjola Canalfront beautification
5.  SGO Complex
6. STP Bagjola
7. Road upgradation
8. Smart Pole: Pilot Project
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ToI dt 17 Oct 2016

Ei Samay dt 17 Oct 2016

Khabar 365 dt 17 Oct 2016

Khabar 365 dt17 Oct 2016
Asian Age dt 17 Oct 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

National Poetry Festival

A few days ago, organisers of New Town Book Fair met me and discussed about their plans to have a national level poetry festival along with the annual New Town Book Fair that is usually organised by them at the Clock Tower City Plaza some time in February-March every year. This time, they plan to do the book fair and the 'Kobita Utsav' in the Swapna Bhor grounds adjoining the New Town Mela Ground which is close to Rabindra Tirtha. The timings would be preponed to December year end when a large number of visitors come to Eco Park, Wax Museum, Eco Urban Village and New Town Mela (scheduled on 24 Dec 2016 - 1 January 2017).

I recalled that the Jaipur Literature Festival also started in a modest scale a decade ago and like it, the National Poetry Festival and New Town Book Fair (proposed name by the organizers) could also celebrate poets from around the state, country and the world. They have already contacted Assam as a partner poetry state. There could be some poets from Bangladesh and other countries as well. Poems in English, Bangla, Hindi and other languages could be recited by poets from their own creations, they said. Further details would be worked out soon.
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Indian Express dt 16 Oct 2016

Times of India dt 16 Oct 2016

Khabar 365 dt 16 Oct 2016

(Top and below) Aajkal dt 16 Oct 2016

Bartaman dt 16 Oct2016