Friday, February 28, 2014

Senior Citizen Mela Starts Today

Senior Citizens' Mela starts today at 2pm and will extend over the weekend till Monday. Here is an invitation appearing in papers today:

Here is a clipping from today's Telegraph (Metro):

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

LED Street Lights

The ground breaking for an LED streetlight project took place this afternoon. This will be for 25 km long path in Action Areas I and III. I requested Chief Engineer S P Chatterjee to start the work in 2-3 areas simultaneously and especially in Action Area IB where we'd received persistent requests for early installation. This will be a very big LED project and will save a considerable amount of energy costs and hence carbon footprint. A photo:
LED Streetlight Project Starts : 26.2.2014
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Two press clippings:
Anandabazar dt 26.2.2014

Ei Samay dt 26.2.2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

4.5 km long Garden Reach Flyover Approved by CSMC

Today we went and returned from Delhi to attend the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee of Ministry of Urban Development. The Committee is headed by Secretary Urban Development Department Mr Sudhir Krishna and representatives from the Planning Commission, Finance Ministry, CPWD etc. CEO KMDA Surinder Gupta, Chief Engineer KMDA Arun Chakraborty, ILFS Members Chandana Ray Choudhry and Sudip Datta and others were also there. This was probably the last CSMC meeting before the elections and we were all anxious to see the flyover project through. In the list of agenda items, ours came up at the very last. In the meeting, I also acknowledged the positive role of MoUD officers without whose help we could not get the project passed.
The approved project cost was Rs 313.27 crores. 35% will be provided under JnNURM. The project name is "Four lane flyover from Garden Reach (Ramnanagar More) to Diamond Harbour Road (Mominpur)". It will be built over existing KoPT road. The congested roads of Garden Reach will be greatly benefitted once the project is through - especially since the existing Bascule Bridge disturbs the traffic often by opening out to let ships go. The project will take 30 months to execute.
* * *
After the meeting, I met the Mission Director Rajiv Sharma at his office near CGO Complex. I collected of the Government Order no. J-21011/1/2011-NRCD dated 20.2.2014 conveying the Administrative Approval and Expenditure Sanction of Rs. 274.76 crores for the Sewerage Scheme of Halisahar under the NGRBA scheme. The World Bank Team would visit Kolkata on 12th March and have a meeting with us.

I went to Delhi in the morning flight (Indigo) and returned in evening flight (Spice Jet). While I was in Delhi Airport on my return journey, Hon'ble Chief Minister visited Eco Park and took a walk.
* * *
Yesterday, I was present in two ground breaking events in Eco Park. Photos:

Toilet Block near Biriyani Bar in Eco Park: Work starts on 24.2.2014
Administrative Block in Eco Park near Musical Fountain:
Work starts 24.2.2014
There was a Pulse Polio Campaign at Eco Park yesterday. A photo near Gate 2:

* * *
Here are two clippings:
Times of India dt 25.2.2014

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Tennis Court

A tennis court is being constructed in Action Area I, with inputs from NKDA's Sports Consultant. I went to see its progress recently. Here is a picture of the site:
ITF Norms will be followed in the Tennis Court
There is already a football ground that is being used regularly: we even organised a Rugby match there. A cricket ground is being developed in Action Area II and we hope to start a match before the Pujas. A swimming pool is also coming up in AA-I but t will take some time to complete.
* * *
Here is a clipping from today's Times of India:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

With Manna De...

I went to Asansol yesterday. Among other things, I went to the studio of Artist Susanta Roy who is making wax statues on behalf of Hidco. Some models are ready, some are in preparation. We discussed timelines and targets. I reminded him that we have selected an architect for the wax museum and invited EOI for an agency to build it. Like Madam Tussads' Museum in London that I'd visited with Minister Firhad Hakim in 2012, I couldn't resist the temptation of getting myself photographed with a wax statue of Manna De. Even when I was close, the wax statue looked strikingly alive.

I also inspected the progress of 10 mgd water supply project at Asansol. Sumit Gupta, CEO ADDA informed me that it will be completed by this March. A photo:
* * *
On Thursday the 20th, there were two sets of inaugurations: one at New Town and the other at Salt Lake. Pictures:
Foundation Stone Laying of NKDA Market, 3rd Bagjola Bridge
and Inauguration of NKDA Market by Minister UD

MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar inaugurating renovated 206 Bus
Stand, Baisakhi Abasan Blocks and Bungalow Annexe
* * *
Here are a few clippings:
Times of India dt 22 Feb 14

Salt Lake Telegraph dt 21 Feb 2014

Salt Lake Telegraph dt 21 Feb 2014 
Times of India dated 19.2.2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Solar Cooled Jacket

Yesterday, Mr S P Gon Chaudhury came to Hidco to demonstrate a Solar Cooled Jacket. There are a few tiny fans operated by a battery that is recharged by Solar Rays. He wanted a trial on people who actually work on the streets such as green police in New Town. I've advised him to get in touch with NKDA. Here is a photo of the jacket:
* * *
The Bhumi Puja of the Corporate Office of National Insurance Corporation was done last afternoon at the Financial Hub by NIC's CMD. A photo:
 * * *
Here is a clipping from today's Times of India:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

LA Act Repealed

I just received a letter from Land and Land Reforms Department stating that Land Acquisition Act 1894 has been repealed and that no new proposal may be given now. In its place, a new Act called Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 has come. The procedures for the New Act will be declared soon.

This marks an important crossroad for many of us.
* * *
Yesterday, I witnessed the start of two projects in New Town. One was construction of internal roads in Action Area III leading to the site of NSG. The other was a beginning of an utility buiding near Water Pumping Station in Action Area III. Two photos:
Utility Building for Electricity, Telephone, Bank, Cable etc
: start of

Road leading to National Security Hub: A start

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Water Bottling Plant in New Town

Yesterday, I inspected works of water supply, drainage and sewerage in New Town. Chief Engineer and other officers of PHED were present. We decided that one drainage pumping station at Central Business District (CBD) should be completed before the monsoons. Here is a photo of the site now:
5 cum/hr drainage station at CBD
We also decided to set up a Bottled Water Plant at the site of Water Treatment Plant in Action Area 1. This will provide a constant source of cheaper water for tourists at Eco Park, Rabindra Tirtha and elsewhere.
* * *
National Insurance Company Chairman will come to New Town tomorrow (19th) to lay the foundation stone of their project at the Financial Hub in New Town. I got their invitation yesterday. Here is it:
* * *
Here are a few clippings:
Khabar 365 dt 17.2.2014

Anandabazar dt 18.2.2012

Telegraph dt 18.2.2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

CCTVs in Eco Park

For security and surveillance reasons, we have decided to set up Closed Circuit TVs in Eco Park. In consultation with Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate, 21 sites have been identified. I have already held preliminary discussions with Webel. The CCTVs will be put up also on our newly constructed watch towers. Police will man the watch-towers, especially on holidays. Ground space will be used as food/ tea kiosks. Costruction of the watch towers is almost complete. Here is a photo that I took yesterday:

New Watch Tower near Musical Fountain site
Another is located near Jetty no1, near Rabi Aranya
* * *
The Hidco Board met yesterday. Few decisions taken:
1. A 20 acre site in the periphery of New Town will be developed by Kolkata Municipal Corporation for an innovative "waste to energy" programme. Solid waste of New Town would also be used. An MOU will be signed with KMC subsequently.
2. An Iconic Welcome Tower will be erected at the 6th roundabout. 
3. A Sculpture Garden designed by Shri Suvarasanna will be set up in Eco Park near Bamboo Graden.
4.An Interpretation Centre of Butterfly Garden will be started soon. A research unit will function. Visitor awareness sessions will be conducted. 

Here is a photo of a book on butterflies that we procured recently from the Forest Department. Hon'ble CM had talked about this book in her last visit to Eco Park:
Many of the species described in the
 book will be available in Butterfly
 Garden too

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Stamped Concrete Flooring

We went to see a new design for outdoor tiling. The usual options are bitumen / tar, bricks, plain concrete, paver blocks (now most popular, for colours and underground utility friendliness), black stone (old strand road, Taj Bengal outside main reception and City Centre Plazas in many European cities) and others. Each has a unique aspect and a cost. In the market in Action Area 1 that is complete and will be inaugurated on 20th February, we have used the Stamped Concrete Flooring. It looks almost like black stoned courtyard but is much cheaper. A photograph of the market:
Stalls for vegetable etc and shops will soon be distributed through lottery
* * *
The Board of Directors of Hidco will meet today. Hope to upload few decisions tomorrow.
* * *
Here are two clipping:
The Telegraph dt 15.2.2014

Anandabazar dt 15.2.2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Annexe Building of Inspection Bungalow; Sangeet Mela

Close to the existing Inspection Bungalow of UD Department at Salt Lake, an annexe building has been just completed. I visited the new building today with T.Som, Special Engineer and others. The annexe has 24 beds, a conference room, a dining room, and a kitchen. It will be used when the main bungalow is closed for maintenance. A photo taken this morning:

* * *
Sangeet Mela has started in full swing at Rabindra Tirtha. I went for a short while this afternoon with Ms. Ananya Banerjee, Chairperson, West Bengal Women Development Corporation. A photo of the Sangeet Mela today:
* * *
A great picture was carried by Anandabazar today. Here it is:

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Here are a few more clippings:

Times of India dt 13.2.2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

NKDA Bhavan and 3rd Bagjola Bridge: Foundation Stone

On 20th February, Hon'ble Minister Firhad Hakim will lay the foundation stones of NKDA Bhavan and the Third Bagjola Bridge at New Town Kolkata.

NKDA Bhavan will be implemented by Engineers India Ltd, a Govt of India Enterprise, who was selected through tender. They will start construction work from 20th itself. The land plot is situated close to Rabindra Tirtha.

The third Bagjola Bridge is located in Action Area III. It will replace the existing steel Bailey Bridge that leads from Action Area III to projects such as  Sapoorji Pallonji etc. Pre-construction activities such as soil testing have begun already.
* * *
We are continuing our preparations for the Senior Citizen's Mela. Here is a leaflet that we printed:
* * *
Here is a clipping that appeared in yesterday's Times of India:

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Tennis Court / Basketball Court Planned

The Board of NKDA met yesterday. It approved setting up of a Lawn Tennis Court and a Basketball Court. These will be located in Action Area 1 of New Town, close to, but not adjacent to, the football ground already existing. The tennis court will be a hard court with all-weather synthetic surface as approved by the International Tennis Federation. There will be viewers gallery and players' changing rooms too.

After the Board Meeting, we went to open the second café. This is located near Tata Medical Centre / New Town Police Station. It will be run by the "Alibaba" group who said that they expect to start operations within a month or so. A photo:
Pradeep Roy, me, Sabyasachi Datta, Sutanu Kar, Gopal Ghosh, EE NKDA
* * *
The Bird Observatory was made operational yesterday. I went to visit it this morning. With a ticket of Rs 10, any enthusiast can observe birds in Eco Park for 30 minutes at a stretch. There is a pair of binoclars too which can be used free. Already I found few enthusiasts on the two-storied structure near the Rain Forest / Rose Garden. A photo taken this morning:
Bird Observatory: Open for Enthusiasts
Inset: Powerful Binoculars 
 Here are three photos taken in Eco Park by the NGO PUBLIC:
Kingfisher: at Eco Park
Paddyfield Pippit
Openbill Stork
* * *
Here are a few clippings:
The Telegraph dt 8 Feb 2014
Anandabazar dt 8.2.14
Times of India dt 8.2.14