Friday, January 28, 2011

Planning For Environmentally Sustainable Urban Development

Our Urban Development Department today co-hosted with the US Consulate an interactive discussion on Urban Planning today morning, with Dr (Ms) Kristina Ford. The topic was:
Planning For Environmental Sustainable Urban Development
With special reference to challenges brought by increasing urbanization.

It was a refreshing experience, sharing thoughts with experiences drawn from USA & New Orleans and India & West Bengal. Mr P.K.Biswas, Associate Town Planner gave a very good introductory presentation. Dr Ford integrated her talk excellently from where the presentation left.

Key take-aways:
(1) "Smart Growth", "Sustainable Growth" are slogans that may not always communicate well (2) Planners and planning concepts must reach out to a wider audience (3) Besides the objectives, the urban processes through which the future path traverses may need attention too: citizens may have to give up something now to get a green future, for example
* * *
Kristina Ford happens to be the wife of Mr Richard Ford, who inaugurated Kolkata Book Fair in 25th Jan. I went to the book fair yesterday, like every past year since my college days. The White House pavilion reminded me of my visit to Washington in 2005

Friday, January 21, 2011

National Development Committee on UD Postponed

I was to attend a meeting of the NDC's UD Sub Committee today at Vigyan Bhavan, Delhi. It was called off at the last moment. No reasons were given, but I understand that this was because Jaipal Reddy has just gone away and Kamal Nath has taken over yesterday.
I attended a meeting with Secretary, MoEF, GoI on NGRBA at Paryavaran Bhavan, New Delhi

Monday, January 10, 2011


I am now in Shatabdi express and heading towards Howrah It is 7 pm and hot tomato soup was just served. A little while ago, I visited Bonjemari. This is a site that is close to Maithon / Chittaranjan. An area of 1100 acres has been identified for shifting people in 139 locations that are subsidence-prone due to underground mining.
I wished to emphasise that the mini-township must be planned well. It should be sustainable, carbon-friendly and economically vibrant. Onkar Meen (DM Burdwan), CEO ADDA, AEOs, Town Planner (Anindita & Others) were with me.
Earlier, I had this very interesting brainstorming session at ADDA House in Asansol where I followed up the tasks assigned to me at Delhi on Affordable Housing. The basic question was: "What can be done to facilitate PPP projects solely for the EWS / LIG category?"
I got some good suggestions. I requested all present to present their views to me by email within a week.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pension for SJDA like KMDA

I signed the GO stating that Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority staff will be eligible to get pension.

 Earlier, only KMDA staff got it among all 9 Development Authorities of the state.
Other authorities like HDA, ADDA etc do not get pension.
Co-incidentally, Shri Asok Bhattacharya is the Chairman of both authorities.