Thursday, September 29, 2011


I am in Delhi today to attend national workshop on NIJNNRUM. In the workshop, I said that (i) Development Authorities should have a role assigned to them as an implementor and (ii) there may be capitalisation of O&M costs of 5 years. The meeting was held at Vigyan Bhavan where Mr Kamal Nath and Kum Selja - Union Ministers - and other dignitaries were there.
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I met Mr Tarun Kapoor, JS, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt of India. I submitted to him a formnal proposal for according Solar City Status to New Town. We also discussed about use of electric vehicles (Reva) in New Town.
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I met Mr Shinichi Yamanaka, the Chief Representative of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) in India. I talked about help in sourcing technology from Japan for making New Town a smart city. We reviewed the Yokohama meeting too. It seems, a pre-feasibility study will be required first.

Meeting with Singapore and Italian Representative at Hidco

Last Saturday, in course of the KMRCL (Kolkata East West Metro) meeting, I discussed with Mr Lohia, Joint Secretary MoUD Govt of India, that I was looking for international state-of-the art traffic-signalling system for New Town. Working from his reference, Gopal Ghosh CEO NKDA and I met today morning Ms. Wong Foong Chung Sindy of Singapore at Hidco. They asked for a due diligence study on the present status of traffic only after which they will be able to comment.
We will take it from there.
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The engineering team of HIDCO, KIT, UD and others saw a presentation by an Italian expert at Hidco about very-quick low-cost housing construction technology. Although many issues were justifiably raised, I think we must continue to look at international trends whenever possible. 
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Just reached Delhi. Will go to JICA office to discuss a few things for the benefit of New Town. Let's see how it turns out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Geriatric Clinic and Trauma Centre in New Town - Land Auction

Few days ago, a large group of doctors from US (but from Bengal) met me and said that they want to set up an advanced Geriatric Clinic with regenerative medicine. I was happy to know of the cutting edge technology and wished that it could be used to treat senior citizens of Eastern India.
- Police has been telling me that a Trauma Ambulance is necessary in view of frequent accidents in New Town.
 We are thus thinking of inviting offers to set up these health care facilities in Rajarhat New Town. Here is an article that appeared in today's Times of India:

Monday, September 26, 2011

File Tracking System for Govt Secretariat

My good friend Dr Subir Roy of e-Governance Mission Team rang me last Thursday and deputed a team that showed us how a tailor-made-for-bengal-secrtariat-babus software can be used to keep track of file movements within the department. It was a non-sophisticated simple system, but a system that fits very well into the existing procedures. Me and my officers were immediately enthusiastic - no long term SRSs, no presentations, no high-flying software codes - all that is needed is a LAN and a 2 hour training for the PAs and assistants.
I will introduce it in UD soon - as soon as our LAN is ready.
I think it will make government business speedier.
By the way, the software is free.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mela rent at Salt Lake to increase

We have decided to increase manifold the fees charged for holding melas in Bidgannagar Central Park. Here is a press report that appeared in today's Bartamaan:

Kolkata Metro Board Meet

I attended the Board meeting of the Kolkata East West Metro under the Chairmanship of new Govt of India Secretary Dr Sudhir Krishna. Executive Director of Railway Board Mr Rajib Chowdhury was also there. Among other things it was decided that the shares of EW Metro would be given over to the Railway Ministry. But till all the formalities are completed, the project work would go on as per schedule.
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About the Garia-Airport Metro link that will pass through New Town, HIDCO, there is an article in today's Times of India. Here is it:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Asian Development Bank, Kolkata Beautification and UK India

A 3-member team from ADB met me yesterday. They talked about transport linkage in north Bengal to facilitate regional co-operation among Nepal, Bhutan, India and Bangladesh. I recalled my old association with ADB when I was chosen to deal with North-South Development Corridor from Raichak to Siliguri.
Yesterday, I highlighted the significance of Look East Policy, opening of Nathu-la pass and the importance of setting up an indoor International Container Terminal with Railway Freight Corridor.
We also held the second meeting of the Kolkata Beautification Committee of which I am the co-ordinator. Many agencies including HIDCO, Urban Forestry etc showed photographs of their achievements. KMC gave a presentation. Next meeting will be held on 21st Oct.
KMC hosted a good lunch too!
Here is a press report in today's Telegraph:
Yesterday's Pratidin carried a small report on Mr Heald's meeting with me. Here is a report:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

UK India Business Council

Yesterday, I met Mr Richard Heald, Chief Executive of Uk India Business Council at my HIDCO office. He talked about an Innovation Seminar to be held in London in October: I said I'd be interested in knowing more about it. I also said that I needed technological inputs for smart, intelligent and green city as I'd like to position New Town as such. He said he'd revert with more thoughts.
The British Dy High Commissioner Mt Sanjay Wadvani and Mr Chanda were also there. Deepak Gupta of UD Department handled the protocol and took this picture:

I was also told by Mr Debashis Gharai of Sakalbela - with whom I'd spoken some time back - that there'd been a story on the design competition for a local market in New Town. Here is the clipping:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Earthquake and Digha Beach Festival Logo

A digital artist I know has created the following logo for the Digha Beach Festival. Here it is:

. In the morning yesterday, I'd asked Special Engineer to inspect our Housing Estates in Salt Lake for possible damages. I spoke to Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority and Jaigaon Development Authority too and called for reports after inspections. I also met a group of residents of New Town Rajarhat to report any damage to the high-rises of Rajarhat due to earthquake. Suman Chakrabarti of Times of India asked me about response of UD Department to the recent earthquake. Here is a report that appeared in today's Times of India:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Digha Beach Festival on December 9-12, 2011: DSDA Website

I held a long meeting at Digha yesterday witth all stakeholders to set the agenda for holding the Digha Beach Festival in December. The idea was to give everybody a target to kick-start short-term plans for transforming Digha-Shankarpur-Mondarmoni-Tajpur into a major national tourist destination. The main idea is to bring in quality improvements.
After some detailed discussions, we decided to have it on 9th Dec (Friday) to 11th Dec (Monday). There will be Sea Food Festival, Bratachari, Beach Volley Ball, Bangla Band, Eco-quiz and other events.
I launched the website of Digha Sankarpur Development Aithority. Its address is:
This also contains a new facility of on-line booking for Saikatabas.
DSDA and M/s Telmac did a great job in putting this up in a short time: we hope to make it operational after the Pujas when the renovation of Saikatabas will be over.
Here is a news article on Clean Ganga that appeared in today's Anandabazar:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Biometric Cards for HIDCO

Amal Sarkar of Bartaman spoke to me yesterday. He has written the following article.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yokohama and Kolkata

In an earlier post I had mentioned about Yokohama. Yesterday, Mr Toru Hashimoto from the International Technical Cooperation Division from the City of Yokohama came and gave a presentation to us at HIDCO Bhavan. Here is a picture.
Along with Mr Hashimoto, Mr M Numahata, Japanese Consul in Kolkata was also there. Commissioner KMC, CEO KMDA and HIDCO and UD officers were there.
We will have a wrap up today morning.

There have been few articles in the press. Here are a few links:-

Times of India:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Address Locator ....2

I read this article at Under Secretary's chamber at Writers' Buildings today:

Design Competition for Local Market in Rajarhat New Town: Win Up to Rs 60, 000

In today's Times of India, we have published an advertisement asking for designs from Architects through a competition. There will be two plots and two separate competitions, both are located in Action Area I of New Town.
I have Delhi Haat or Dakshinapan in mind. But local open markets here are very small - about 20 kottahs or so. This is meant for getting daily groceries, vegetable, fish etc : we are not looking at glass facaded shopping malls. We want fresh open friendly neighbourhood market but with a bit of creativity added, a bit of originality.
Hence the competition and call from young and talented architects.
Winner will get Rs 50,000 reward for one, and Rs 60,000 for the other.
Valid entries will get Rs 5,000 each - unless the number is too large.
Here is the ad:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Address Locator Kiosks: Expression of Interest

We want to instal static address locator in New Town and Salt Lake to enable tourists to find out addresses quickly. Here is a notice inviting Expression of Interest that appeared in today's Times ofIndia and Hindusthan Times:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

EOI published for Saikatabas, Digha

We are trying to modernise Saikatabas at Digha professionally. Advertisements appeared today in Times of India:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rules of Business Amended: Notification Issued by Chief Secretary: HIDCO with UD

Yesterday I received the fax copy of the notification dated 8.9.2011 signed by Chief Secretary, Govt of West Bengal stating that the Rules of Business of the Government has been amended so as to bring HIDCO and all matters relating to Rajarhat township within the schedule of Urban Development Department.
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Minister of Urban Development Mr Firhad Hakim made a visit to HIDCO yesterday. We made a powerpoint presentation and few issues facing it today. This was covered by the media and I put a clipping that appeared in Bartamaan today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lord Mayor of City of London to Kolkata on 13th Oct

Yesterday, Mr. Sanjay Wadvani, British Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata met me at my office of UD at Nagarayan, Salt Lake. He talked about the visit of Lord Mayor of the City of London to Kolkata on 12-13th October. There will be a seminar in co-ordination with the Urban Development Department on 13th Oct. The topic is likely to be Urban Renewal and Financial Inclusion. In the afternoon, an interaction on the proposed Financial Hub in Rajarhat New Town will be organised.
I learnt that the Mayor of London (elected politician) is different than the Lord Mayor of the City of London (a businessman with rank of an MP/minister looking after "one square mile" of London's financial district.
Here's a photo with Mr Sanjay Wadvani at our new 5th floor office at Nagarayan:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Digha Utsav in December

Here is a news item that appears in today's Anandabazar.
I am planning to hold a meeting of DSDA at Digha on Saturday 17th Sep so that we can form the Organising Committee.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Rabindra Tirtha in New Town

Half a dozen or so agencies have applied for against the Expression of Interest. The bid document will be ready by today. I have entrusted one General Manager (Engineering) whole-time exclusively to handle this project.
Here is an article that appeared in The Statesman recently (on 31st Aug 2011):

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Digha Beautification

Here is an article that appeared in the press: