Wednesday, December 30, 2015


We all know about KYC (Know Your Customer). But what is KYR?

KYR, as I came to know from a 5-member delegation from Bosch, Bangalore, stands for Know Your Road. The Team has developed a smart apps that works on Android KitKat or later version. It can crowd-source movement of mobiles in cars and compute traffic speeds at various stretches of road in real time. Thus one can know in advance which roads to avoid and which route is quicker even as one is driving and is at a cross-road/ junction like VIP Road Haldiram point , for instance, where you wonder while coming from Kolkata Airport as to whether to take the VIP Road or the New Town Road for going to EMByPass.

Bosch will give this smart solution free as a Prrof of Concept (PoC) to Hidco for which Hidco has to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement. Hidco will install 50 such applications in 50 of its officers' mobiles and a pilot study will be done by 6 months.
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Aajkal dt 30 Dec 2015

Millennium Post dt 30 Dec 2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

BGBS Dinner at Eco Park on 7th January 2016

A special dinner will be hosted by Hon'ble CM on 7th January evening at Eco Park's Island, on account of the Bengal Global Business Summit on 8-9 January. I will hold a co-ordination meeting tomorrow at Eco Park Office.
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Hindustan Times dt 29 December 2015
ToI dt 28 Dec 2015
Millennium Post dt 29 Dec 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Selfie Stick, Binocular, Free Buses and Adda Zone : Increasing Options

To cater to the increasing crowd visiting Eco Park this yearend and New Year day, we are setting up a control room at Eco Park Office and also placing additional security on the watch towers of Eco Park.  A medical camp will also be set up. Additional ticket counters will be opened, additional car parking lots will be opened. Besides existing attractions of Eco Park, a children's toy train, 10 food stalls around a DJ Music Rink, Floating Cafe Ekante, Live Santa Claus and Christmas Tree and Fresh Eco Lake Fried Fish are new attractions. A special view point is also being set up on way to Eo Island from Gate 1.

In addition, with a view to give further options to the visiting tourists we are trying to decentralise the crowd to the new Urban Eco Village and the New Town Mela. Free Bus Shuttles will ply from Gates 1 and; 4 of Eco Park to transport tourists to Urban Eco Village and New Town Mela.

To increase the options available to tourists at Eco Urban Village, we are arranging Binoculars to see birds (Rental Rs 10 for 60 mins). We are, for the first time, also arranging a Selfie Stick for good Selfies / Groupies at the Urban Eco Village (Rs 10 rental for 60 mins).

Demonstrating Selfie Stick at Urban Eco Village:
27 Dec 2015

To increase the options at New Town Mela, we have set up an Adda Zone where colourful Easy-chairs have been set up. In the Adda Zone, painting activities including sit-and-draw for children, professional portraits etc will be organised.

New Town Mela 2015
Adda Zone

I cannot resist showing a pic of an advertisement by someone I don't know, as it appeared in Labanhrad Sangbad recently:

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ToI dt 27 Dec 2015

Ei Samay dt 27 Dec 2015

Khabar 365 dt 27 Dec 2015

Hindustan Times dt 27 Dec 2015

Asian Age dt 26 Dec 2015
Bartaman dt 26 Dec 2015

Metro Telegraph dt 26 Dec 2015

Khabar 365 dt 26 Dec 2015
ToI dt 27 Dec 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

Eco City

Yesterday, the Eco Urban Village was opened to public. This is different from Eco Park. Eco Park is nature at its most beautiful, with musical fountains, beautified urban space with manicured lawns and colourful seasonal flowers. Eco Urban Village is a bird watcher's paradise, it has Saluk and other rustic water plants and trees; 35 birds that have actually been sighted in this area have been listed and signage put up.

Yesterday on account of the year-end winter festival, a food festival has begun. It consists of 10 food stalls including Subway, Dominos Pizza, Cafe Ekante, Yellow Straw, and, the most exciting, Hidco's own "Fresh Fried Fish from Lake of Eco Park".

At Food Festival: Eco Park 24 Dec-3 Jan 2016
In the Seniors' Park, we are developing a Kitchen Garden. There are cauliflowers, brinjals and tomato that are becoming ready gradually. The idea is to engage member seniors in an economically  productive activity, they would decide what to cultivate and when so as to get a decent value from the market. The first 'lau' that I saw yesterday would be given to a Seniors' Picnic that will be held next Sunday but soon we will put up a notice for upcoming produce that members can buy garden fresh vegetables at cost price. There can even be a friendly auction on Sundays. A photo taken yesterday:
Gourd auction among members of Seniors' Park: soon 
New Town has already got a tag of Solar City and Smart City, I hope, New Town will gradually also earn the title of Eco City: We have tea garden whose leaves are used for a great cup of tea; we have eco park lake where fish seeds are released. fish feed given and through angling / netting fish is now bin used to sell to guests of Eco Park. Kitchen Garden produce in Seniors' Park will be auctioned to members for that garden fresh taste. Soon fruits from the orchard at Eco Park with 62 varieties of fruits will also be auctioned among residents. Rooftop organic vegetable garden pilot project will also start soon. Stalls in Markets have been allotted to co-operatives of North and South 24-Paragans for bringing in fresh vegetables from farmers. Most importantly, we are already talking to experts to see how New Town can be a Zero Waste City (I am trying to connect with Fish Feed producers to take away restaurant food wastes to convert into fish feed that can be fed to fish in lakes of New Town).
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The New Town Mela began yesterday. A photo:

Inaugural dance by Mrinalini at New Town Mela 24 Dec 2015
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Urban Eco Village started yesterday. Photos:

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Salt Lake Telegraph dt 25 Dec 2015

Aajkal dt 25 Dec 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Winter Festival Period

With a 4-day holiday weekend around Christmas and 3-day at New Year, the festival spirit has set in. At New Town, the following activities would go on:

Kolkata International Children's Film Festival; Rabindra Tirtha (3 shows daily)
Urban Eco Village (Opens today 24th)
Christmas Festival with Food Stalls including Fish from Eco Park Lake (starts today)
New Town Mela (Starts today)
Cafe Ekante Winter Festival including Candle-lit floating dinner (already on)

Near Owl Crossing: Bus Link 

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Millennium Post dt 24 Dec 2015

Ajkal dt 24 Dec 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Water Supply Project to be inaugurated in February

A meeting was held last Monday by Hon'ble Ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim with me, Pr Secy PHED Saurabh Das, MLA Salt Lake Sujit Bose and engineers of Hidco and PHED to take stock of the water supply distribution from the water treatment plant at New Town, considering that 100 mgd raw water pipeline had already been laid, that 20mgd water treatment plant exists and that present water demand of New Town will be 12mgd so that 8 mgd would have to be distributed. Earlier the share of water for New Town, Salt Lake, NDITA, South Dum Dum and Haroa was fixed with respect to 100 mgd. After much deliberations, it was decided that for the present, the 8 mgd water would be supplied to Bidhannagar's water reservoir at Central Park from where NDITA would also draw its share. PHED was advised to make DPR for pipe laying from WTP, New Town to Water Intake Reservoir at Salt Lake so that when the project is inaugurated in late January / early February 2016 after the mandatory period of trial-run, a foundation stone for the pipeline could also be laid.  All of 8mgd water would be fed to Salt Lake system for now.
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Khabar 365 dt 23 Dec 2016

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Township Policy Notification

The Urban Development Department vide its notification number 2345-TnCP dated 21 Dec 2015 published a township policy to facilitate growth of townships both in the public and private sector, so that urbanization happens in a (i) planned manner, in an (ii) inclusive manner and with a view to make it an (iii) engine of growth.
Thus, (i) towns would have to abide by the WB Town and Country (Development of Township Projects) Rules 2008 (ii)  25% of the dwelling units in the town would have to be for the Economically Weaker Sections, and (iii) 25% of the net land area for non-residential purposes with a theme.

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Also see:

Monday, December 21, 2015

SaReGaMaPa Finals in Eco Park

Yesterday, Zee Bangla organised the finals of their popular Talent Hunt Programme SaReGaMaPa at Eco Park. There was a huge turn-out. People from all over came in, including stars and celebrities. It was my first experience in seeing shooting of reality shows. A great effort is required, I discovered. A photo:
SaReGaMaPa Finals 2015 at Eco Park
20 December 2015
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The Commissionerate of Police, Bidhannagar organised a 3-day training on self defense to school children . Training will be given by two NGOs. Shivani Raina, ADCP took a major role in organising this event at New Town Football ground yesterday.

Jt CP Bdn, CP Jawed Shamin, me, Dr Bimani of TMC:
3-day Self Defence training to school children organised by CP
Photo Courtesy Jahid

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Khabar 365 dt 21 December 2015

Bartaman dt 21 Dec 2015

Ei Samay dt 21 December 2015

Asian Age dt 21 Dec 15

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Regular theatre shows on Sundays at Rabindra Tirtha

In the last board meeting of Hidco, held on 24 November 2015, it was decided that effective Sunday 3rd January 2016, every Sunday of 2016 at 6pm there will be a theatre / play/ drama staged at Rabindra Tirtha. Tickets will be priced at Rs 100 and Rs 150. Thus, like Nazrul Tirtha for films, where regular film shows are held every day, in Rabindra Tirtha too, all Sundays of 2016 will have plays for people to see. Perhaps the first of its kind. Hon'ble MIC Bratya Basu will hold a press meet on this on 23rd December 2015.

In yesterday's seminar of architects, I mentioned briefly of the syndrome of vacant towns of China. New gleaming towns have been built over the last decade all over China but many are lying mostly vacant as people do not move in without an urban eco-system, without schools, hospitals, markets, cinemas, theatres, public transport, festivals etc. Indeed, it is often said that the 3Es (Education, Employment and Entertainment)  pull people to cities. Which is why at New Town we are painstakingly trying to create a social-cultural-entertainment focus (in addition to the financial & legal hub, education & health hub and an IT & ITeS hub), we are trying to bring life into the city and make it the preferred city with a smart work-life balance. This explains why we spend great efforts at putting up movie halls, theatre shows, cultural programmes, eco park, children's parks, seniors' park, food festivals, upasana sthal, tea lounge, convention centre, open air amphitheatre, yoga classes, Mother's Wax Museum, eco urban village, Cafe Ekante fine dining, floating Cafe Ekante Restaurant with candlelight dinner, Christmas Festival (look out for 24 December 2016 onwards), angling, golfing, car racing (look out for Jan 10, 2016), cycling (look out for 24 January 2016), rowing (look out for February 2016) and mega cultural events like SaReGaMaPa by Zee Bangla (tomorrow Sunday; Hidco is venue partner, will take place at Eco Park).
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Attended DoBig Seminar at Taj. A pic:

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Bartaman dt 18 Dec 2015

Khabar 365 dt 19 December 2015

Salt Lake Telegraph dt 18 December 205

Thursday, December 17, 2015

High Level Task Force Meeting on Ganga

Came to Delhi yesterday evening. Just attended meeting by Cabinet Secretary, Govt of India. This was the fourth meeting of the HLTF where Secretary GoI of MoWRR/ MoUD/ MoP/ MoRD/ MoDW/ MoTourism/ MoST/ MoExpenditure, MoRD and the 5 Ganga states were present. It was decided that MoUD and MoWR would complement each other in execution of STPs/ Sewerage Networks and funding. It was also decided that in few cases, a hybrid PPP annuity model would be followed. A standard model of crematorium has been developed by NMCG fit for 25 bodies / day. I mentioned that 11 DPRs for crematoria and 14 DPRs for Interception & Diversion stood submitted and required sanction. It was agreed that a fast-track mechanism of sanctions would be brought in soon. It was also informed that MoRD had recently allowed use of NREGA scheme to collect solid waste from scattered areas. It was suggested that this could be converged with Namami Gange.
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Times of India dt 16 December 2016

Khabar 365 dt 16 December 2016

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Luffing Crane

A huge 250 ton luffing tower crane was put into service by L&T under supervision of Hidco Engineers to put up a 38m long 25 ton steel beam onto the roof level of the state convention centre now being built at New Town, beside Hidco Bhavan. A lot of excitement was there in the air as all engineers of all ranks from Hidco, NKDA, L&T and architect firm DMA assembled at the site and watched the maneuvers. Dozens of coconuts were broken at the start and puja was performed.

I came to know what a luffing tower crane is. Engineers explained to me that long cranes are called tower cranes. But luffing tower cranes have a co-ordinated mechanism such that it can move objects horizontally maintaining the same level of the object, without movement of the crane itself. This is very helpful in crowded construction places. The web has this to say on luffing cranes: The luffing boom crane was designed to meet the requirements of the restricted job site. With a short tail-swing and the ability to raise and lower its boom, it easily adapts to construction site demands providing complete coverage while avoiding obstructions.

A photo on my iPhone, taken at 3.30 pm today:
Luffing tower crane at State Conevtion Centre
site today, 15 Dec 2015
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The floating Cafe Ekante made its debut journey today. A picture:

Photo courtesy Jahid Khan

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Times of India dt 15 Dec 2015

Ei Samay dt 15 Dec 2015

Hindustan Times dt 15 Dec 2015