Monday, December 30, 2013

Hon'ble Chief Minister Mentions Eco Park in Facebook

Here is the screen shot:

ITC Infotech Takes Land in Action Area III

ITC Infotech has just paid in full for the land allotted to it in Action Area . As per a cabinet decision, a 16 acre plot was allotted to it few months ago. Now they have paid the land premium as was assured by them earlier that they'd pay by December 13. At their cost, Hidco has already constructed a barbed wire fencing around its plot. A photo:
Land of ITC Infotech: Fencing work completed by Hidco
* * *
Here are few clippings:
Anandabazar dt 30 Dec 2013

Anandabazar dt 30 Dec 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

New UIG Schemes

I recently had a review meeting on newly sanctioned UIG (Urban Infrastructure and Governance) Projects under JnNURM. The list is as follows:

- Elevated road between Jinjira Bazar and Batanagar: Project Cost Rs. 256 cr
- Water Supply for Bhadreswar Municipality: Rs 89 cr
- Storm Water Drainage for Baruipur: Rs 64 cr
- Sortm Water Drainage for Rishra: Rs 51 cr
- Storm Water Drainage for South Dum Dum Municipality: Rs. 66 cr

Tenders will be invited shortly for all of these.
* * *
At Biswa Bangla Haat, there was a good crowd. People happily shopped and stocks in few food stalls were exhausted by early evening. In the first day itself, a sale of over a lakh of rupees was reported by officials. A photo:
* * *
Here are two cuttings from today's papers:
Anandabazar dt 29 Dec 2013

Sanbad Pratidin dt 29 Dec 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

First Meeting at "Sabuj Sathi"

Eco Park was opened to public on 1st January 2013. Till 26th December, 4,49,262 persons have visited it.
Yesterday, Hon'ble CM informed us that she'd named Eco Island as "Sabuj Sathi". This was in response to a request made by me to her through CMO that a name of the island could be decided upon.

Today morning, I held the first meeting at the "Glass Hall" of 'Sabuj Sathi'. All senior officers of Hidco and NKDA were present. I thanked them for the great work done against unimaginable odds - given the late monsoons till Kali Puja and Bhai Phonta and the difficulty of working in wet mud land. We adhered to the target that was set for us, and we were proud of it. Here is a picture of the interior of the Glass Hall:
The view after the blinds were opened was simply amazing
 * * *
Here are two clippings:
Sanbad Pratidin dt 28 Dec 2013

Anandabazar dt 28 Dec 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

CM inaugurates 11 projects in Eco Park

Hon'ble CM inaugurated 11 schemes at Eco Park. She named the Eco Island as "Sabuj Sathi". She saw, along with an overflowing crowd, till the very last the film "Chander Pahar", sitting beside Deb, its hero. Here is a picture:
27th Dec 2013, Eco Park
(Photo courtesy Krishnendu Basak)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Record turn-out

Yesterday, on Christmas Day, there was a record turn-out of 24,796 official visitors. This is the highest in a single day ever since Eco Park was opened. Today, we held an emergency meeting trying to figure out what to do for the remaining high-turnout days of 29th Dec (Sunday), 31st Dec2013, 1st Jan 2014 etc. We decided:
1. To increase the number of ticketing booths
2. To deploy additional security staff
3. To install a Public Address System
4. To construct additional toilets esp for ladies
5. To entrust NKDA to collect parking fees from cars parked on public roads, outside car parks
6. To request transport department to arrange for more buses to cater to visitors returning home
7. To have a site-in-charge officer at site to whom Manager would report
8. To sensitise securitymen that people mustn't litter, that they should keep wastes in their bags till final disposal
9. To keep first aid boxes at each gate

Here are a few photos:
Crowd on Road No.2 on 25th Dec 2013 at Eco Park

Queue outside Gate 3: Christmas 2013 Eco Park

New Gate to Butterfly Garden
* * *
Here is a clipping from today's Anandabazar:

And here is a clipping from Ajker Kalam, published few days ago:

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

BSUP completion time extended by Central Government

In terms of a notification issued by the Government of India in the Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation, vide notification number N.11027/3/2012, the period of completion of projects sanctioned till March 2012 under Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) component of JnNURM has been extended by one year upto 2014-15 ie till 31st March 2013. Under BSUP, d.welling units of area 30 sq metres are constructed with attendant infrastructure in slum areas. So far, 73,000 dwelling units have been completed in West Bengal under BSUP. The extended period will help us, and all the states of India, to complete many other units.
* * *
Few photos:
What is special about this garden? See the next photo.
Vertical Garden at new formal garden to be inaugurated on 27 Dec:
Far background: Biswa Bangla Haat 

Masks in Traffic Intersection:
Crossing of Major Airport Road and Banglar Hat Road 787

Mechanical Sweeping in Eco Park this morning

We got two more Eco Carts in Eco Park yesterday:
Total 4 carts now

Monday, December 23, 2013

Video Conference on JnNURM with Govt of India

Last week, we had a video conference with Ministry of Urban Development, Govt of India. The Kolkata Node was at the NIC Unit located in Bidyut Bhavan, Kolkata. We made the point that some installments were not being released on time and that quite a few DPRs were awaiting sanction.
    We were informed that installments were sanctioned for three projects. I especially drew the attention of Dr Asoke Singhvi, Mission Director, JnNURM, MoUD to the sanction of Garden Reach-Mount Road Flyover project.
    In course of my presentation, I mentioned that in this FY 2013-14, we had completed three Water Supply Projects at Garulia, Bhatpara and Baruipur. I also mentioned that within March 2014, we hope to publish 13 more projects such as Kalyani Bus Terminal, seven more water supply projects at Bansberia, Howrah, DumDum. Budge Budge, Chandannagar, Uluberia, Asansol etc.
Last Saturday, Minister Firhad Hakim inaugurated the Cafe-cum-Toilet near First Rotary, in presence of Sabyasachi Datta, MLA, me, Gopal Ghose CEO NKDA and others. A photo:
Designed and built by NKDA, this Cafe-cum-Toilet
was inaugurated by MIC Firhad Hakim on 21st Dec 13
* * *
Here is a clipping from today's Anandabazar:

Here is a clipping from today's Khabar 365:

And a clipping from today's Bartaman:

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sech Bhavan Renamed

In Sech Bhavan at Salt Lake, the offices of Special Engineer UD, Administrator UD and Chief Engineering Officer UD are housed. On a request from the Irrigation Department, a notification has been issued vide no. 7062-UD dated 17.12.2013 in which this building has been renamed as Nirman Bhavan. Irrigation Department, on its part, is renaming its Jalasampad Bhavan as New Sech Bhavan.
    The same notification renames KMDA's Prasashan Bhavan near City Centre as "Pouro Bhavan" while Bhidhanagar Municipality's Building now called Pouro Bhavan has been renamed as Bidhannagar Pouro Sabha
* * *
Writing this from the balcony of Artist's Cottage in Eco Park. Made urgent discussions with senior engineers and officers of Hidco and NKDA and visited Eco Island and Tea Garden sites. Photos:

Outward view from my camp at Artist's Cottage.
View of Eco Park from Eco Island:
Eco Island is a 7 acre uninhabited island, without a bridge
Finance Centre on other side of MAR in rearground
Multi-purpose hall on Eco Island

* * *
Here s a cutting from today's Anandabazar:

Two clippings from today's Khabar 365:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Preparations in Full Swing

Hon'ble Chief Minister will inaugurate a rainbow of new projects in Eco Park on the 27th December. Distribution of invitation cards have started: I handed over the first card to Minister Firhad Hakim today during his visit to Hidco. Minister Firhad Hakim inspected the preparations today afternoon. Hectic activities are going on. I cancelled all leave on Sunday the 22nd for all technical officials and staff of Hidco and NKDA.

    Last year, on 29th Dec 2012, Hon'ble CM inaugurated the Eco Park; at that time, the following 'attractions' were already created:
Rabi Aranya, Tropical Rain Forest, Flower Meadow, Formal Garden, Rose and Fountain Garden, Artists' Cottage and Boating Facility.
    She laid the foundation stones of the following the same day last year:
Baglaar Haat and Musical Fountain.

    On 27th December 2013, the following schemes will be added for inauguration by Hon'ble CM:
Biswa Bangla Haat, Musical Fountain, Children's Eco Park, Food Court, Butterfly Garden, Bamboo Garden, Fruits Garden, Adda Zones, Tea Garden, Mask Garden and Eco-Island.

   The Butterfly Garden was completed today. Minister and I entered it in the afternoon. It is set on an area of 3 acres. There is a central dome of height 8 metres and area 1,000 sq metre. The periphery has different plants, interpretation centre with a laboratory for rearing butterflies, lily pool etc. The plants are carefully chosen to either serve as nectar source plants or larval host plants.
    A picture taken from inside the dome:
Butterfly Garden Dome
    The Food Court is also completed. It is spread over 1,500 sq metre. There are outdoor kiosks, AC and non-AC banquet / restaurant halls, unique first floor Café. Two photos taken this afternoon:
With MLA Sabyasachi Datta and Minister Hakim:
Lounge Area of Food Court

Outdoor Kiosks:
View from first floor Café lounge

A floating jetty to transport people to the Eco Island was also commissioned today. A photo:
On a floating movable  jetty:
Me, Minister Hakim, MLA Dutta
* * *
Earlier, in the morning, the Kolkata International Film Festival started at Rabindra Tirtha. It was inaugurated by three students of neighbouring schools of New Town. The hall was completely full, and, as I sat through the inaugural German film (The Town Musicians of Bremen), cheerful clapping indicated that the audience quite liked it. I did too. The 59 minute movie was very very touching and spoke straight to the heart. A photo of the inaugural ceremony:
First Film Festival in Rabindra Tirtha:
 * * *
In the evening, I attended the opening of Family Adda at Eco Park along with Minister. I also attended a function at Axis Mall called Palli Sanman where actor Prasenjit Chatterjee was also there.
A photo of the Family Adda :

* * *
Finally - (it's been an unusually long post!) - a clipping from today's Khabar 365:
* * *
A clipping from today's Bartaman:

Friday, December 20, 2013

CM reviews progress

Today morning, in the Town Hall, Hon'ble Chief Minister reviewed the progress of plan projects and development. The Urban Development Department, with a financial achievement of 88% was among the top performers. a photo on my mobile:

* * *
The Fruit Garden was completed today. It has 300 trees with about 63 varieties of fruit tress ranging from mango to grapes. Spread on a 3 acre plot near the Rose Garden, the idea of a Fruit Garden was to attract birds and make city children see how trees bear different kinds of fruits A picture taken today afternoon at the Eco Park:
Sunset Point (on the right)  in Fruit Garden
* * *
Salkia Flyover
A long time ago, in the year 2006, Rs 15 crore was allotted for acquiring land for Salkia Flyover, at Salkia Chowrasta, at the crossing of Benaras Road/ Sri Aurobindo Road and G T Road in Howrah. It is a very congested traffic crossing and requires very difficult engineering skills. I remember visiting the spot years ago and I remember the thought that it would be great to have a grade separated flyover there. Now a new Project Report has been made by HIT through BESU. Because working space is very limited, they have recommended use of steel girders so that setting up is faster.This was posed to the State Planning Board recently, who after two sittings cleared it. Now, after getting the concurrence of the Finance Department, a project cost of Rs 68 crores have just been approved and a sum of Rs. 4.43 crores is being released by UD Department shortly.
* * *
Here is a clipping from yesterday's Times of India:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bamboo Garden

The Bamboo Garden was completed today in Eco Park. I visited it in the afternoon. Here is a photo:

It is built in an area of 16,000 sq metres. There are 13 species of bamboo that have been planted. These range from native varieties such as 'Makla Bans', 'Kanta Bans' etc to exotic varieties such as Black Bamboo and Japonica. The water body has an area of 2,340 sq metres. There is an interpretation centre, a viewing deck and a wooden pagoda. The Forest Department has executed it as a deposit work.
* * *
Here is a clipping from today's Khabar 365:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kolkata Children's Film Festival 2013

Earlier in this blog I'd posted last year's schedule of KICF. I just got the tentative schedule of the Rabindra Tirtha Venue's schedule for 2013. I understand that one or two changes might be there. Here is the schedule.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Biswa Bangla Haat at New Town

Banglar Haat being constructed in Eco Park in New Town will be called "Biswa Bangla Haat", in terms of a communication received from Micro & Small Scale Enterprises Department, Govt of West Bengal. Earlier, Hidco had proposed that a Joint Venture Company may be formed between Hidco and WBSIDC which will run the Biswa Bangla Haat. Revenue would be shared by amount of share contributed. For Hidco, the share would be the cost of the land and building.
This will be inaugurated on 27th Dec by Hon'ble Chief Minister. Engineers and Agencies are working hard to meet the deadline. I discussed the matter with a representative of M&SSE Department this evening. I learnt that of the nine Geographical Indications of Bengal (Darjeeling Tea, Nakshi Kantha, Laxmanbhog Mango, Himsagar Mango, Fazli Mango, Santipur Sari, Baluchari Sari, Dhaniakhali Sari, Shantiniketan Leather Goods) six, excluding the mangos, would be sold from Biswa Bangla Haat from 27th December 2013.
* * *
Here are a few clippings from today's papers:
Ei Samay dt 16th Dec 2013

TOI dt 16.12.13

Anandabazar dt 16.12.13

Anandabazar dt 16.12.13