Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Presidency University to Start Work in New Town

The Presidency University has asked Hidco to build its boundary wall on the 10 acre plot allotted to it in New Town some time ago. This was communicated formally by the Registrar of the University after a joint discussion at Hidco Bhavan by VC Ms Anuradha Lohia and I and other officers of Hdco. The tender has already been invited (see ( Tender B Wall) . A set of 64 flats at Tarulia is also being offered to the University on rental basis so that repairs to the Hindu Hostel can take place.
Here are few clippings:

Times of India dt 29 June 2015

Telegraph Metro
 dt 29 June 2015

Times of India dt 30 June 2015

Telegraph Metro dt 30 June 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sports City

In Dumurjala of Howrah City, a sports city will be built up. Land will be allotted  through e-auction. There is a chunk of 50 acres of land that presently belongs to the Howrah Improvement Trust. There are a few guidelines that have to be followed. 25% of the housing units have to be for the Economically Weaker Sections. The recent guidelines of the Housing for All (Urban) defines EWS as families earning less than Rs 3 lakhs a year. These guidelines also say that a subsidy @ Rs 1.5 lakhs per EWS unit can be given by Central Government if 35% of the housing are for the EWS. The carpet area of EWS units have to be 30sq m. The other condition is that 25% of the land area will have to be devoted to sports facilities like football /cricket ground, swimming pool etc. Town Planning norms and National Building Code and Municipal Laws and Environment Laws etc have to be followed as well.

Subject to these few guidelines, the government is open to suggestions from interested investors to consider further facilitation through global FAR, installments commensurate with revenue inflow, single window assistance etc. To listen to all such suggestions before framing RFQ/RFP documents, a formal RFI or request for Information has been called on 10th July 2015 at 3 PM, calling upon prospective investors/ developers/ financiers to attend. Details are given in RFI_on_10_July .

Before that, a site visit will take place the day before on 9th July at 1pm or so. Ministers, Mayors and few professionals are being invited for the site visit. Following is a graphic that we will put up at the site shortly:

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Few clippings:

Times of India dt 26 June 2015

Ei Samay dt 28 June 2015

Khabar 365 dt 28 June 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Presentation at Vigyan Bhavan on Smart Planning of New Town

At 10.30am tday, in the plenary hall, in presence of 3,000 odd delegates and Union Minister Venkiah Naidu and others, I gave a 10-minute presentation on New Town, how it evolved, how it is planning to be a Smart City. Here is a photo sent by Chandana Raychoudhuryof ILFS:

Here is a clipping from Ebela:

Ebela dt 26 June 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Smart City, AMRUT and Housing for All

At Vigyan Bhavan today, Hon'ble Prime Minister launched three schemes in the field of Urban Development. From West Bengal, Hon'ble Minister Firhad Hakim, CEO KMDA Surinder Gupta, State Mission Director Sutanu Kar, Joint Secretary Kasturi Sengupta, Director SUDA Mani Pradhan, SDO Bidhannagar and many ULBs participated.

The proceedings will continue next day.

A photo:

Inside Plenary Hall of Vigyan Bhavan: 25 June 2015
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In many papers we published today a Request For Information for the six township projects in West Bengal. A formal discussion will be held on 10th July 2015. Here is the public notice:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Growth of New Town in last 4 years

For preparing for the presentation on New Town at Vigyan Bhavan on 26th June, I was looking at some figures relating to New Town that happened in the last 3-4 years.

A. Growth of electricity consumers has been 300-400%:
Low & Medium Voltage Connections:
As on 31.3.2011: 8,270
-do- 2012: 11,884
-do- 2013: 15,969
-do- 2014: 19,471
-do- 2015: 24,929
Bulk Consumers (above 50 KVA):
As on 31.3.2011: 38
-do- 2012: 57
-do- 2013: 111
-do- 2014: 141
-do- 2015 : 172

B. Growth of sanctioned buildings has been more than 200-500%:
As on 31.3.2012: 899
-do- 2013:          1,293
-do- 2014:          1,696
-do- 2015:          2,131
Growth of completed buildings has been more than 550%:
OC/POC issued:
As on 31.3.2012: 78
-do- 2013:           163
-do- 2014:           236
-do- 2015:           435

It is estimated that housing stock now is capable of accommodating 2 lakh people in New Town. However, the present estimated population is 34,449 with a working population of 61,734 in the organised sector with another 25,000 in the unorganised sector.
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Here are few clippings:

Times of India dt 22 June 2015 (above and below)

Ajkal dt 21 June 2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Japanese Forest

On the waterfront of Eco Park, near Rabi Aranya and the Angling Zone, there is a green clump with a pack of palm trees. We were wondering how best to develop the area without disturbing the original trees. We have now decided to raise a Japanese Forest there. The forest will consist of special trees and shrubs, laughing monks and sitting monks  that will give a sense of tranquility. A pagoda and a set of aromatic plants and dense bamboo avenue will give a sense of fragrance and peace.

Japanese Forest : Design

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Here are a few clippings:

Pratidin dt 20 June 2015

Khabar 365 dt 20 June 2015

Times of India dt 20 June 2015

Anandabazar dt 20 June 2015

Bartaman dt 20 June 2015
Also See:
Economic Times

New Kerala

The Statesman

Friday, June 19, 2015

Digital Library in Seniors' Park

We are planning to have a digital library at Seniors' Park. If everything goes as planned, we should be able to launch it before the Pujas this year. The concept is as follows: The books in Seniors' Park will be listed up in a mobile apps. One can choose either to buy or to read. Buying will give a discount and the book will be delivered to members' residence in New Town.  For borrowing, a reading charge for each book will have to be given. The charge will vary for each book, depending on price and depreciated value as per a formula. The book will be delivered and received back by library staff free of cost to/from members' residences.
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Two clippings:

(Top & Bottom) Ei Samay dt 19 June 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Analytics City

Tomorrow we are going to the 50 acre site at Kalyani where a new township will be set up. The theme of this new township will be Analytics: this is an advanced branch of computing trends and making intelligent predictions using Information Technology, Mathematics and Statistical skills. There will be a strong R&D laboratory as well. The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as KPMG, CREDAI and DMA are supporting this development. We are expecting few dignitaries to be present during the site visit. Here is a design of the site sign that we are planning to install by tomorrow:

Here are two clippings from today's papers:

Times of India dt 18 June 2015
Ei Samay dt 18 June 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Librairie of Swapna Bhor

I am trying out a rather innovative model of a library in Seniors' Park. I am reminded of the French word "librairie" which actually means a bookshop.
Here, in Library Room of Swapna Bhor, in addition to newspapers and magazines and few books for reading, we have got on loan in plastic tamper-proof jackets several books (new, national, international, bangla) that can be purchased. Initially, there is a 10% discount too  for members. A picture:

Books for sale in Seniors' Park Library
Here are a few clippings from today's papers:
Ei Samay dt 14 June 2015

ToI dt 14 June 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Solar Boats

A pair of Solar Boats were put on trial at Eco Park day before yesterday. Since the boats are light-structured, these are not put in the wave-prone large lake of Eco Park but in the calmer waters of the smaller lake in Heliconia Garden. The boats were powered by a battery engine that is recharged through a solar panel on the roof. The boats are two-seater and are designed by the Solar Cell of BESU who had also designed the 500KW solar canal-top power system that has already generated more than 40 Mega Watt Hours since its commissioning and pumped the power in the electricity grid (see Live Solar Data for real-time and historical data) . NKDA's and UD's roofs also have a solar panels that are generating power through the net metering system.

A photo of the Solar Boats now on trial at Eco Park:

Solar Boats on trial at Heliconoa Garden Lake, Eco Park
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Here is a clipping from today's paper:

Times of India dt 14 June 2015

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Panchapradip Work Progress

Inspected progress of work of Panchapradeep. It is nearing completion within a month. Lighting and plantation work are going on. A figure standing close to main Panchapradeep:

Panchapradeep Complex

Khabar 365 dt 13 June 2015

Times of India dt 13 June 2015

Ei Samay dt 13 June 2015

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Korean Food Festival and Taekwondo Camp on 16 August

Taekwondo Grandmaster Pradipta Kumar Roy and Master Ruma Roy Choudhury met us today afternoon. We discussed how we could start a Taekwondo training in New Town. We decided to try out on two fronts: for the young at Eco Park and for Seniors at Seniors' Park Community Hall. We decided to hold training classes twice a week in the afternoon/ evening. The registration drive would be launched on 16 August 2015 with demonstration exhibitions and a Korean Food Festival at Gate 4 Eco Park.
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A clipping:

Rajasthan Patrika dt 8 June 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

More in New Town Financial Hub

Last date of application for the last phase of Financial Hub was over on Monday 8th June. Punjab National Bank and Indian Bank have taken plots in New Town Financial Hub. PNB took an 1.25 acre plot (CBD 91) while Indian Bank took 0.98 acre plot (CBD 96/1). Others who have already taken plots in Hinancial Hub earlier are: Allahabad Bank, UCO, UBI, SBI, BoB, Union Bank, Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Shriram Credit, Bandhan Bank, Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank, WBFC, WBIDFC etc.
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Here are two clippings:
Khabar 365 dt 8 June 2015

Ei Samay dt 8 June 2015

Monday, June 8, 2015

Karunamoyee Bus Terminus

Last week, MLA Bidhannagar Shri Sujit Bose had a discussion with me as we waited for the UD Budget to be passed at the Assembly house about repairs to Karunamoyee Bus Stand. I informed him that engineers of UD Department had already upgraded the very busy and important bus terminus very meticulously over several months. They have concrete-paved the entire floor - a huge area, and there is no mud / slush now during rains in the terminus - put high mast lights for bright illumination, renovated the toilets and side utility structures with a fresh coat of paint and also repaired all bus bay islands within. We agreed that we could undertake a further joint site visit with engineers so as to consider what further needs to be done.

Karunamoyee Bus Stand, Bidhannagar:
upgraded by UD Department

Here are few clippings from today's papers:

Khabar 365 dt 8 June 2015

ToI dt 8 June 2015

Ei Samay 8th June 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

One Lakh Footfalls in Wax Museum

Today we felicitated the one lak-th visitor to Mother's Wax Museum at 1pm. Mr Umesh Das was the lucky person. He and his brother came with their families. We gave a bouquet of flowers and a gift voucher for Cafe Ekante. We also gave chocolate eclairs to all visitors at that time. A photo:
L-R: Tirtha Sadhu, me family of Umesh Das, Suman Neogy

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Here is a clipping from today's paper:

Times of India dt 7 Jun 2015
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We have mounted a blow up of the News Item at the ground floor entrance of Mothers' Wax Museum. A photo:

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Seniors' Home

Swapna Bhor, the Seniors' Park, is waiting for its formal inauguration. We have already started collecting members. I myself have also enrolled myself by paying fees (eligibility is 50+ years as on age of application). Yesterday I, JMD Debjani Datta and Administrator Swapna Bhor went to Story at Elgin Road to discuss about an MoU that we wish to sign soon about collaboration for running the library-cum-book shop at Seniors' Park.

In the last Hidco Board meeting on 27th May, approval was given for setting up a Seniors' Home near the Seniors' Park. A design competition was invited earlier and a committee headed by noted architect Prabir Mitra, with members from Geriatric medical specialists and others, selected a design which was approved by the Board of Hidco. This would be built on an one acre plot overlooking the Seniors' Park so that the Home can get the benefit of the Park nearby. There would be a hundred rooms with a twin sharing basis. Common areas are very innovatively designed to allow frequent interactive spaces among residents.A financial viability analysis indicates that residents would have to pay a lump sum joning fee and a monthly recurring fee. Common activities and support services including kitchen, health and medicine units would be in-built. Membership of the Swapna Bhor Park would be automatic for the residents.

A picture of the design of the terrace:

Artists' Impression of Terrace Garden of Seniors' Home
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Yesterday, we broke ground for two projects: (1) Laying of distribution water pipe lines at Action Area III (this is needed to take water from the Hugly River, after filtration, to Action Area III including Sapoorji Palloonji housing area) (2) Finishing works in 64 EWS flats in Action Area 2.


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Earlier in the morning yesterday, I attended a World Environment Day function at the new Coal India Bhavan auditorium where in presence of CIL Chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya and me, JMD Hidco and GM CIL signed an MoU for Electric Buses in New Town.

Exchange of MoU on Electric Bus
Debjani Data,me,Sutitha Bhattacharya,GM CIL

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Here is a clipping from today's Times of India: