Secy Krishna gave the welcome speech. He said hat planned urbanisation needs support.
Union MoS (UD) inaugurated the seminar and gave the inaugural speech. He explained that the joint meeting was a part of Govt of India's policy of supporting satellite townships to decongest mega cities.
I gave a powerpoint presentation and a video clip of New Town. It seemed to have been received well. I requested minister Hakim that we may hold more road shows - in Mumbai and other places. I poited out that the Centre of Gravity of the World's Finances were moving towards the East (China-India) and Kolkata was emerging as one of the top three financial destinations of India as per McKenzie Report (June 2012). My proposition was : Cluster Banking + Look East Policy = Financial Hub in New Kolkata.
Here is the country-wide advertisement that we released today (I checked up Hindustan Times, Economic Times and Times of India here in Delhi):
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I arranged a conducted tour of Vigyan Bhavan after the meeting, for Mr Dulal Mukherjee who is designing the Hidco Convention Centre.
Here is a collage of two photos on my mobile taken today morning:
Photo courtesy Pr RC Mr Bhaskar Khulbe (extreme left in pic below):-
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Here is the press release of Resident Commissioner's office:
Shri Saugata Roy, Hon’ble Minister of State, Union Ministry of Urban Development and Shri Firhad Hakim, Hon’ble Minister-in-Charge, Departments of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs, West Bengal, attended a high-level meeting on development of an “International Financial Hub in New Town, Kolkata” at 10.30 hours at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi today. Senior officials of Central and West Bengal governments and 29 representatives of a number of banks, insurance companies and financial institutions were present at the meeting.
Welcoming the participants to the meeting Dr. Sudhir Krishna, Union Secretary Urban Development dwelt on the necessity of undertaking planned development of satellite towns around big cities as a conscious strategy for urban development as such a step not only provided a fillip to organized growth but also provided an impetus to relocating from the congested neighborhood.
The Hon’ble Minister of State, Union Ministry of Urban Development said the Ministry is facilitating the meeting as part of its overall plan to support development of satellite towns near big cities. This will lead to creation of new infrastructure and de-congestion of cities while ensuring planned urbanization and better living conditions, Shri Roy said.
Hon’ble Minister-in-Charge, Departments of Municipal Affairs and Urban Development, West Bengal, noted that Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, had in March 2012 laid the foundation stone of the proposed international financial hub in New Town, a 3075-hectare futuristic smart green city. Pointing out its locational advantages, including its proximity to the international airport and Eastern India’s best planned IT hub, Shri Hakim invited major institutions, companies and financial service players to invest in the hub.
Shri Debashis Sen, Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department, Government of West Bengal and Chairman-cum-Managing Director of West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (WBHIDCO) made a presentation on the hub, stating that 25 acres of land in the Central Business District area of New Town has been earmarked by WBHIDCO, the implementing agency, for the first phase of the international hub. Ready built-up space of 100,000 sq ft floor area, good drainage, road and sewerage network, connectivity by an upcoming Metro Rail network and planned international convention centre on an area of 100 acres will be other advantages of the proposed hub, the meeting was told. WBHIDCO has already spent Rs. 2000 crore on infrastructure development in New Town and another Rs. 5400 crore has been earmarked for the next five years. WBHIDCO would welcome expression of interest from prospective investors by 31st October, 2012.