Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Eco Cities & Secondary Cities: Meet with World Bank

Yesterday morning, the Sector Manager of Urban Development & Water Supply and Sanitation, Mr Ming Zhang of World Bank met me at Urban Development Department. Mr Kesavan & Ms Ghosh were also with him. We talked of (1) developing Salt Lake and New Town as Eco2 (ecologically friendly and economically vibrant) cities and (2) taking forward the Secondary Cities Decvelopment project forward.
Mr Ming agreed to help me with further information and inputs.


  1. So which are the secondary cities in the state we are thinking of?

    I hope the list will include Durgapur, Siliguri, Haldia and Digha.

  2. why not Asansol, New Jalpaiguri, Burdwan, Malda, Darjeeling? Presently, Kolkata is the only place where people think of flocking to in search of opportunities and that is the reason its overcrowded and its so challenging to maintain the infrastucture here. Until and unless this pressure is shared, it will remain the same as it is now.

    We know that we are far from getting a Pune, but i think we can try. Now that a new airport is coming up in the ADDA region, the govt can take measures to invite global players to setup shops in those regions.

    We already have a Bagdogra airport in the hills, which caters to i guess 14 flights daily. We can leverage the presence of the 2nd busiest airport in bengal to bring in corporates, but yes all that would happen only if we can promise them a world class infrastructure.

  3. Suman...I completely agree with you. Ask any educated person and they will say the same. We need multiple cities with just 4 facilities:

    1. Big Wide Roads without potholes.
    2. Big wide footpaths.
    3. Proper drinking water system
    4. Proper sewerage system

    And obviously we need to get the companies to generate the jobs.

    I think we can also think of Kalyani as Kalyani expressway is getting widened to 4 lanes, metro connectivity has been announced and its only 50 kms from Kolkata.

    Mr. Sen, are we thinking of releasing municipal bonds or any special infrastructure fund with funds from Provident Fund authorities (EPFO) or any other type of long term infrastructure financing? Because we cannot keep on waiting for JNNURM funds to get these type of projects executed. That will take 2-3 decades to get the projects completed.

  4. adding...uninterrupted power supply

  5. @Abhisekh: There are 27 Towns that have been proposed in phase I.

  6. Mr. Sen, I have a few more questions:

    1. The original question about infrastructure financing.
    2. Did we make any progress related to Raichak-Bongaon flyover?
    3. Did any other Bank express interest for the financial hub?
    4. Did we select any architectural agency for Digha Gate?
    5. Did we select any specialist landscapers for New Town?