Monday, November 30, 2015

Zero Visitor Target

At the ATI this morning, in course of my lecture to promoted IAS officers from 11 states, I spoke on Urban Development. I told that by using e-governance and mobile based apps, the necessity of visiting government offices should be eliminated, as a matter of policy goal. Citizens should be able to register and track progress of the steps taken and get e-alerts in their mobiles. In other words, Smart cities should try to ensure that zero visitors need to visit municipal functionaries for solving their issues/ problems.

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Khabar 365 dt 30 Nov 15

Times of India dt 30 Nov 2015

Times of India dt 30 Nov 2015

Calcutta Times dt 30 Nov 2015

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Eco Park Gets Prize by Govt of India Body

Under the category "Landscape Planning and  Design", Eco Park has been recognised as one of the top two projects of India by Housing and Urban Development Corporation, a Government of India organisation. The award was announced in the website of HUDCO today. The other projects to be awarded in this category are from the state of Gujarat. A screen shot:

  I thank my Planning Team and Engineering Team for making Eco Park among the best in India.
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  The Board of Hidco in its meeting dated 24 Nov 2015 agreed to formally engage IIT Kharagpur as consultant for designing a public cycle sharing scheme. The Letter of Intent was delivered to Dr Debapratim Pandit today and we had an intense discussion too, outlining the boad parameters and time lines. A photo taken today on my iPhone at Hidco Bhavan:

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Yet another road graphic has been done in road near Eco Park. A picture taken this morning:

A Zebra crossing with Zebra stripes
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HT dt 28 Nov 2015
Anandabazar dt 28 Nov 2015

Anandabazar dt 28 Nov 2015

Khabar 365 dt 28 Nov 2015

Bartaman dt 28 Oct 2015
Ei Samay dt 28 Oct 2015
Pratidin dt 28 Nov 2015
Times of India dt 28 Nov 2015

Aajkal dt 28 Nov 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Smart Workshops and Visit of Hon'ble CM to New Town

In the morning, I attended the Smart City seminar by Governance Today at Park Hotel. The theme was "Smart City: Smarter West Bengal: An awaiting door for moving towards smart West Bengal". The seminar was organised in association with Urban Development Department but without any financial involvement of he State Government. Among others, I met Uber management and fixed up a meeting at Hidco tomorrow:
Me and Uber Team: Priscilla Baek (Hong Kong),
Ashwin Dias (GM)
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In the afternoon, I chaired a session on Smart Lighting at ITC Sonar. There were four speakers and I learnt a few things. A view from the dais:

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Hon'ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited Eco Park in the afternoon and took a walk around the lake. In between, she agreed to cut the ribbon for the new floating jetty:

New Floating Jetty : Cutting the Ribbon by
Hon'ble CM: 27 Nov 2015
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A photo exhibition bt Sabyasachi Chakraborty was inaugurated by Hon'ble CM at Najrul Tirtha. There she also laid the foundation stone of the Eco Park Eiffel Tower, a 55m high replica made of steel. French Consul General M. Damien Syed, Director of Alliance Francaise Stephan Amelir, Mr & Mrs Ahad, Dy High Commissioner of Bangladesh, German Consul General, Saswata Chatterjee, Sushim Banerjee and others were present. A photo on my iPhone:
Hon'ble CM in Najrul Tirtha:
Commenting on Visitor Book

Photo courtesy S Banerjee

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Times of India dt 27 Nov 2015
Above and below:
Salt Lake Telegraph dt 27 Nov 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Canal Bank Nursery

Today morning, at 6.30 am, I took a tour of the Bagjola Canal Bank Nurseries that we's innovatively rented out. NKDA was spending funds for canal-bank plantation, lands were being encroached upon and garbages of all kinds were being dumped here. Finally, in a stroke of new idea, I published an RFI, sat with nurseries who grow saplings, invited bids for renting out plots on Bagjola canal  bank and allotted to few interested applicants who were allowed to do plant related activities only : no permanent concrete constructions.

Now, just a few months down the line, I was taken around a conducted tour of the canal bank and I was amazed by the develoment and energy of Saurav Sarkar and his wife and family. Not only are we not spending money on raising plantations and fighting encroachments, we are also getting rent and the place is becoming an education village. Two photos:

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Statesman dt 26 Nov 2015
Aajkal dt 26 Nov 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dance Ballet on Lake

A new floating jetty was commissioned today afternoon at the Lake of Eco Parl. This is 5m x 8m and is much larger than the existing one. We plan to have floating restaurant serviced by Cafe Ekante her. Meanwhile, we planned to have a special musical and dance festival by Ms Jalsa Chanda and her troupe on 31st December 2015 evening on the floating stage with guests on the island.  A photo of the new jetty on my iPhone:
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I attended a Smart City meet at Durgapur in the morning. Many organisations and functionaries attended. Mayor of Durgapur Municipal Corporation presided. DM Burdwan Saumitra Mohan, Police Commissioner Ajay Nand, CEO ADDA Sumit Gupta, Commisssioner DMC Kasturi Sengupta, Reliance Jio, Airtel, Philips, Bajaj, ICICI, ILFS, NIT, WBPCB, DPL, DVC, DSP, SBSTC, IT Companies and others attended. Many important strides have been taken by Durgapur. A photo:

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Yesterday, I and a large team inspected the sites near New Town where Hoogly water reaches Water Treatment Plant in New Town in the 6 ft wide pipes through 10.5 km. A photo on my iPhone:

Hoogly Water in special canal 1km away
from New Town. Just after the water
escapes the pipe. At Mission Bazar.


Khabar 365 dt 25 Nov 2015

Khabar 365 dt 25 Nov 2015

Ei Samay dt 25 Nov 2015

Calcutta Times dt 25 Nov 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Green Mobility

Yesterday, French Planner and Mobility expert M. Jean Grebert held a workshop at Utsari Glass Hall at Eco Park with NKDA, Hidco, UD and Transport Officers. He advocated the cause of ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) Mobility Systems as a pivot for sustainability, He talked of an emerging concept of Macauto World Solution for Green Mobility using stacked sharable electric vehicles at strategic locations.

He appreciated the use of e-Rickshaws in New Town. He termed planning of New Town to be "human" unlike some other new towns of India where the citizen is ignored by using extra-wide 100 m roads. He advised that New Town could do well by having satellite transport nodes at airports, railway stations and other nodes of Kolkata so that people can come in quickly.

Me and Jean Grebert, 23 Nov 2015;
(below) A Stacked Electric Car Tower
(as presented by Jean)
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Yet another road graphics was printed on Biswa Bangla Sarani near Owl Statues. The patterns resemble those in a giraffe. A life-sized model of giraffe is a popular draw for children close by in the rain forest in Eco Park,
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HT dated 24 Nov 2015

Times of India dt 24 Nov 2015

ToI dt 24 Nov 2015
Aajkal dt 23 Nov 2015
Hindustan Times dt 23 Nov 2015
Khabar 365 dt 23 Nov 2015
Bartaman dt 23 Nov 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015


The New Town Cyclothon ("smart city for smarter life") which was a 6 km Cycle Marathon was held this morning at 9 am at Eco Park. The route was around the ring road of Eco Park Lake. Though 1,000+ enthusiasts registered till midnight yesterday, morethan 200 actually were estimated to be present. Minister Firhad Hakim flagged off. Cycle stunt show took place. Police band was there. A photo on my iPhone:
22 Nov 2015
Cyclothon 2015
Shivani Raina, me, Minister Hakim

Ms Priyanka Kumari, artist, drew a sketch on the spot:

NKDA, HIDCO, Police, Discover on Wheels, ICE, IEST and many individuals and organisations helped a lot.
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Millennium Post dt 22 Nov 2015