Friday, May 30, 2014

New Town Amendment Act notified.

Yesterday, I got the printed copy of the Kolkata Gazette notificaton dated 16th May 2014. It signifies that after the Amendment Bill was passed by the Assembly, it has received the assent of the Governor and so has become an Act. The Act is effective with the publication of this notification.

The Amendment Act most importantly empowers NKDA to impose property taxes etc in tune with the provisions of the Act. We have already contacted the West Bengal Valuation Board to take necessary action in respect of initiating the steps for making annual valuation of properties.

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Here is a clipping from today's Salt Lake Telegraph:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Su-Tirtha for Banglar Haat

Yesterday, Hon'ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took a review meeting of all departments at Town Hall. She directed that Banglar Haat in Eco Park was ready and it may be made operational soon: Rajiv Sinha, Principal Secretary M&SME and I discussed certain procedural issues after the meeting to give effect to this. To enable participants of Banglar Haat to stay nearby, I was asked to hand over 32 EWS flats at New Town to M&SME Department. CM said that this block of EWS flats would be called "Su-Tirtha".

Along with few other departments, Urban Development Department's performance was declared by CM as "outstanding".
Here is a photo from my mobile and a clipping:

Town Hall, 28th May 2014
Times of India dt 29.5.2014
(Red ring drawn by me)

Bartaman dt 29.5.2014
(Red ring by me)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

After Skype, e-Receipt

In this blog, I'd mentioned of use of Skype in dealing with Salt Lake land issues (see ). Now from yesterday, we started the e-Receipt System. The e-Receipt system is based on memo no. 2634-F(Y) dated 20.5.2014 of Finance Department and notification number 904-UD dated 26.5.2014 of Urban Development Department. The first e-receipt was generated yesterday for one Sunil Kumar Senguta who wanted to deposit Rs. 1,000 towards processing fee for transfer application of a plot of land. Here is the photo:
Atanu Sen (help desk operator) withDinesh Mandal (Land
 Manager) handing over e-Receipt at Nagarayan
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Here are a few clippings from today's newspapers:
Anandabazar dt 28.5.2014

Times of India dt 28.5.2014
Ei Samay dt 28.5.2014

Bartaman dt 28.5.2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nazrul Tirtha Inaugurated

Yesterday, on the occasion of Nazrul Jayanti, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated Nazrul Tirtha. Few photos / clippings:

Telegraph Metro dt 27.5.2014

Bartaman dt 27.5.2014

Here is a link for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's facebook:

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After inauguration ceremony, CM listened to some performances and later took a walk in Eco Park

Sunday, May 25, 2014

NGT's Kolkata Branch

Yesterday, the Kolkata Bench of National Green Tribunal was inaugurated. This is located in 6th Floor of the Finance Centre Building of New Town. The inaugural ceremony was held at Rabindra Tirtha in the morning. A photo:

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As a curtain raiser to the inauguration of Najrul Tirtha on Monday 26th May by CM Mamata Banerjee, Tara News carried a brief story. Tara News doesn't have a streaming video now. So I took my camera and took a short video shot and uploaded in YouTube. Here is the link:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Najrul Tirtha : Inauguration by CM on 26 May 2014

Monday 26th May 2014 is 115th Birth Anniversary of Kazi Najrul Islam. On this day, at 5pm, Hon'ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate Najtul Tirtha at New Town, Kolkata. here is the card that has just been printed:

I invite a reference to my blog post dated 2 July 2013 whwn we "broke ground". (See )

Now the whole structure is ready. The auditorium is going to be fit for use. The ceremony for Najrul Jayanti will be held there too. There will be a cultural function after inauguration and award giving by Nazrul Academy and others. The Annexe building, however, needs more interior works and will be opened for use after 3 months.

I propose to upload a few pictures later in the day.
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(Later dt 23 May 2014)
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Afternoon of 22nd May 2014
Minister Hakim and I: Evening 22nd May 2014
Khabar 365 dt 23.5.2014 (1)

Khabar 365 dt 23.5.2014 (2)

Pratidin dt 23.5.2014

Salt Lake Telegraph dt 23.5.2014

Sanmarg dt 21.5.2014

Times o India dt 21.5.2014?

Times of India dt 19.5.2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Airport-like Bus Terminal

We'd taken up a concept of a designer bus terminus over a 10 acre plot in Action Area II with transport department some time ago. The Committee consisting of Hidco, CSTC and other Transport Department officials has given its report. An MoU has been signed between Transport Department and Urban Development Department regarding the road ahead including cost sharing and project benefits. Based on this, a notice inviting submission of bids has been issued, This calls for reputed consultants or architects to apply for detailed design of an Airport-like Bus Terminus, with commercial spaces above the first two floors to be used exclusively for bus related activities. The notice can be seen at

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Here is a clipping from today's Anandabazar:

Anandabazar dt 18.5.2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Stalls/ Shops : 1:19 applications

Yesterday was the last date of applications of shops and stalls in three markets of New Town's Action Area 1. There are 101 shops / stalls for being allotted through lottery. Applications were accepted in two banks of Action Area i - Vijaya Bank and Syndicate Bank. A total of 1,881 applications were received. This means that there are 19 applicants on an average for each stall / shop.

Here is a photo of one of the three markets:
Market in AA-I near Pride Hotel:
Shops / Stalls to be distributed through lottery

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Here is a clipping from today's Ebela:

Ebela dt 16th May 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Urban Land

Yesterday, I went to a place near Dhakuria railway station in South Kolkata. Anup Banerjee, Special Secretary, Debabrata Chattopadhyay Competent Authority (Urban Land Ceiling Branch) and Revenue Officer were with me. An area of 1,269 sq m (roughly 19 kottahs) was just vested to the State under section 10(3) of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act 1976 on 1.5 2014 through notification numbers 185/D and 186/D dated 28.4.2014. I spoke to Asok Das, Secretary KIT to put up boundary wall on the property. Here is a photo of the precious property that was vested to the state:
21 Telpara Lane, Kolkata 700031
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After the elections, we are back to breaking new ground for project works. 480 EWS flats in Tarulia in Action Area 1 were ready structure-wise but internal roads, boundary wall, water supply arrangements and sanitation works remain to be done. This started yesterday. A photo:
Breaking the coconut while Mrinal Mukherji, CE and Suman
Neogi, GM look on
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Hidco has just engaged the youngest consultant. Aged 18 years, Rishiraj Rateria studies in class 12, stays in Salt Lake and runs a GenX games parlour. I have just engaged him as an honorary Consultant (he refused to take any remuneration) to advise us how to make Eco Park more attractive to teenagers. A photo with im yesterday at Hidco Bhavan:
With Rishiray Rateira: youngest honorary consultant of Govt 
Here is a clipping from today's Ebela:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

ICZM Project Review

I took an on-site review of the World Bank Assisted ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) Project insofar as it relates to DSDA (Digha Shankarpur Development Authority). Project Dirctor Subrat Mukherji, Executive Officer DSDA Sujan Datta, Project Management Consultants I-Win, PHE Engineers and others were present. The project consists of Water Drainage, Sewerage System, Solid Waste
management, Beachfront Development and Hawker Rehabilitation, upgradation of marine aquarium, biodiversity conservation etc, involving a total project cost of about Rs. 73 crores. This is being implemented by various departments of the government. Insofar as components being done by DSDA, about 65% achievement was achieved. There were a number of co-ordination issues such as dovetailing beachfront development with embankment work of Irrigation Department and that between drainage and sewerage works. Many issues were resolved after site visits.

The hawker rehabilitation stalls are being built in Old Digha. Here is a photo:

Aluminium Clad Composite Panel covering steel frame
hawker stalls in Digha Beachfront being built
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We selected the design of the Digha Gate in 2012. Chief Planner of Hidco Prasanta Bhattacharya was the Chairman of the selection panel. The design chosen can be seen at my post at . Here is what I discovered at ground yesterday while entering Digha:
Digha Gate under construction
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Here is a clipping from yesterday's Khabar 365:

Khabar 365 dt 10.11.2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

First Webcasting from Rabindra Tirtha

Kabi Pronam was held at Rabindra Tirtha today at 7 o' clock this morning. We webcast it for the first time. The link was as follows:
Some recorded portions are still available for viewing.

In conceptualising Rabindra Tirtha, I'd always felt that it should provide a digital platform in the internet cloud that will spread the spirit of Tagore to the Bengal diaspora throughout the world and especially the young generation. We have started designing the web site of Rabindra Tirtha accordingly. Today, through the real-time webcasting (well, there was a 20 second delay, I realised ) many across countries from Dhaka to Paris and London to New York could have a sense of Rabi Tirtha's Kobi Pronam on Pochise Baisakh itself. (My son Mourjo, who is studying in Nice, France, also saw a bit of it in spite of the time difference). Ms Abida Islam, Dy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Kolkata, who was the Chief Guest today, also appreciated the effort. Some of my facebook friends have also given me feedback. I realise that there were some gltches in our maiden live webcast effort and we hope to cover it in our next programmes.

Anup Motilal, me, Abida Islam (Dy High Commissioner
of Bangladesh): Rabindra Tirtha, 25 Baisakh
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In the afternoon, I met a 2-member delegation from International Enterprise Singapore at Eco Park. Th were Ms Magdalene Loh and Ms Tan Zhi Xian, We talked about the possibility of having co-operation in few specific projects in Eco Park. These could be water based (underwater aquarium, aquatic park or water skiing), land based (walk-through aviary) or energy based (solar globe). The way forward could be consultancy based, revenue sharing basis (50:50), PPP-based or design-build based. The delegates went around the Eco Park and would report back. A photo taken this afternoon:

Ms. Magdalene Loh,
Ms. Tan Zhi Xian,
P.S.Ghosh & me: at Eco Park

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A clipping from today's Times of India:

Times of India dt 9.5.2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Butterfly in Garden

The Butterfly Park in Eco Park is now quite popular with hundreds of butterflies now visible within the dome. But the other day, I noticed a beautiful butterfly made out of plants in the garden. A photo:
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Here are two clippings from today's papers:

Anandabazar dt
6th May 14

Times of India
dt 6th May 14

Monday, May 5, 2014

Urban Designing: International Perspective

Today, the CII organised a seminar at the Palladium Lounge on Urban Designing and Town Planning where Ms Florence Bougnoux, French Town Planner, Mr. Fabrice Etienne Consul General of France in Kolkata and others were present. I referred to Ms Bougnnaux's conversation with me on Friday at New Town when she said that pedestrian subways and over-bridges across wide roads were unsuitable for children and old people and so the vehicular traffic could go up / down leaving pedestrians to cross roads at surface level. I referred to the flyover in New Town between Axis Mall and Home Town on either side. This flyover was not built over a river or rail but merely allowed the pedestrians to move across the plaza. But I agreed that the concept needed to be recognised and implemented as a policy.

We agreed that a workshop with French professionals would be useful. Here is a photo:

Saugat Mukherji, Fabrice Etienne, me & F. Bougnouxx
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Earlier in the day, Mr Scott Furssedonn-Wood , British Deputy High Commissioner met me at Hidco Bhavan. We talked at length on possible areas of co-operation in the field of Urban Development. I highlighted the International Financial Hb being built up in New Town where we'd like British Financial Institutions to come. Here is a photo:

Rishikesh Chanda, Scott Furssedonn-Wood, me
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Here is a cutting from today's Telegraph Metro:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Shades of Grey !

We are trying out trial paintings for ceiling and other surfaces of Nazrul Tirtha. The following picture with samples was taken yesterday at site:
6 shades of grey : sample paint at Nazrul Tirtha
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This evening at Rabindra Tirtha, Chandalika was staged by Shiksasadan, Santiniketan. I just posted a very  short (47 sec) video on YouTube. This can be seen at
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Here are two clippings:
Times of India dt 4 May 2014

Khabar 365