Saturday, June 28, 2014

Free* exhibition space for artists

In consultation with Shri Jogen Chowdhury, Artist & MP, we decided to offer the exhibition hall in Rabindra Tirtha to emerging young artists to showcase their paintings. The exhibition hall is air conditioned with ceiling-mounted spot lights. Usual renting charges are Rs. 2,000 per day. However, we decided to waive of this amount for a limited period only for young artists. The only condition is that if any artwork is sold, a small percentage would be taken for maintenance charges.

Here is a picture taken on the eve of a quick tour of Eco Park soon after the Art Camp held yesterday:

After the Art Camp, attended by five artists of Santiniketan, we inaugurated a Pay & Use Toilet in the Eco Park. It is located between Rose Garden and Biriyani Hat:

Here is a clipping from today's Khabar 365:

Friday, June 27, 2014

UD Budget Passed in Assembly

The budget of Urban Development Department was passed by the West Bengal Legislative Assembly last Wednesday. Minister Firhad Hakim placed the budget after a 3 hour debate. Members of the Legislative Assembly spoke highly of New Town, Eco Park and other initiatives of UD Department. One member even called for a visit of the MLAs to Eco Park.
Here is a photo of the discussions in progress:

The red light indicates that the time allotted
to the MLA has expired.
* * *
Anandabazar dated 26 June 2014
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Here is a video link for a clipping in Tara News TV Channel that was telecast on 25 June 2014:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Art-in-Oil Workshop on 27th June

A workshop will be organised in Artist's Cottage in Eco Park on 27th June at 2.30pm. Shri Jogen Choudhury, MP and eminent Painter along with a group of five talented young artists will begin a few brushstrokes in oil on canvas. Once complete, the paintings will be displayed in various buildings of Hidco. The idea is to use original art in public buildings and encourage young artists.
* * *
Here are a few clippings:
Ebela dt 23 Jun 2014

Times of India dt 23.6.2014

Ei Samay dt 23.6.2014

Ei Samay dt 21.6.2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

15-18 July : Lottery for New Town Shops and Markets

Yesterday, the NKDA held its Board Meeting. Among the decisions made was the one relating to holding of lottery of the shops / stalls of three markets for which applications were invited till 15th May 2014. For the 101 shops / stalls, there were 1,881 applications. The schedule approved by the Board was as follows:

All lottery would be done in Rabindra Tirtha from 11 am onwards daily.

15th July 2014 (Tuesday) : For S1 to s46
16th July 2014 (Wednesday): For S 47 (This is a stall for ATM counter for which the largest number of applications have been made, hence one day is earmarked only for this stall allotment)
17th July 2014 (Thursday): For S48 to S73
18th July 2014 (Friday) : For S74 to S101 and 9 of Aahrini

Applicants would be informed and notices would be published on the web and in print media.

* * *
Here is a clipping from today's Khabar 365:

And here is one which appeared in Khabar 365 few days ago:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Authority and Citizens join hand to combat water logging

In New Town, for the past several months, Hidco and NKDA have been taking steps so that water does not accumulate in New Town during monsoons. We have installed the huge drainage pumping station at Jatragachi. The canal leading to it from Eco Park has been excavated and cleaned and a new sluice gate installed to isolate the water in the lake from the pass-khal: photo:

New Sluice Gate at Eco Park lake
(Photo courtesy Suman Neogy) 
We have excavated new stretches of periphery canal in Action Area 2. We have cleared drainage pipes in Chinar Park. We have re-excavated canal near Tarulia in Action Area I.

Yesterday I held a meeting with local residents where NKDA, Hidco and PHE engineers were present. I appealed to all to help us to ensure that drains are not choked with construction materials being used to build houses. It was decided that a joint publicity-cum-cleaning drive would be flagged off from 12 noon tomorrow (Friday). Roadside stalls will also be requested to help clean the drains underneath. Additional dustbins would be placed for the stalls to keep the drains free. Awareness would be generated not to use drains for dumping cement slush and sand.

Residents pointed out instances of water logging due to Metro works. I collected the street numbers and spoke to Mr H.S.Yadav, CGM RVNL yesterday itself and today Metro engineers have made an inspection and initiated action including installation of additional pumps to drain away water from these streets,. As decided yesterday, Mr Ananda Ganguly, ED Hidco, held a meeting with Cement Mixing Plant owners of New Town and sensitized them that excess concrete etc should be brought back to source instead of dumping in drains meant for draining water during rains.
* * *
Here is a clipping from today's Hindustan Times:
Hindustan Times dt 19.6.2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pisciculture in New Town

To meet maintenance expenses of Eco Park and other greeneries in New Town, the Board of Hidco approved last Saturday a scheme of pisciculture in New Town. This was based on a Detailed Project Report prepared by Fisher Expert T.K.Giri. Based on studies and scientific analysis of water bodies carried on for a month, the report mentions the following points/ recommendations:

1. There are 70 ha of water bodies in Action Area 1, 88 ha in Action Area 2 and 48 ha in Action Area 3. This includes canals and dehydrated tanks. However some are not fit for fish cultivation right now.
2. Development work is needed in many of these areas to make fish farming effective. Examples: Shaping and embankment, leveling of tank floor, weed clearance etc.
3. Some sporadic fishing activities are already being carried out and needs to be controlled.
 The report recommends that immediate activities may be started in 11 water bodies in an area of about 100ha.  The ensuing production will be able to cater to 87% of New Town's fish demand within 3 years. The invested capital will also be recovered in three years or less.

We have decided to continue the engagement of Shri Giri to take the project forward.
* * *
Here is a clipping from today's Times of India:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

CM takes Core Committee Meeting at Eco Park

As per schedule, Hon'ble Mamata Banerjee went to Eco Park / Eco Island to hold meeting of Core Committee on Industry at the Glass House yesterday. Meeting was scheduled at 4pm but she arrived at 3.30pm. She inspected mango produced by a Self Help Group of Bankura. She travelled across the water on the floating motorised jetty. Before the meeting, she intently looked through the glass walls of the Glass House and inspected Eco Park. A photo:

Admiring the view 
On the occasion of the first meeting of Chief Minister in Eco Island, NKDA had installed a raging bull in front of the gate through which CM entered. A photo by my Sony camera:

Installation completed on 16th June 2014
We were fortunate not to have rains. But the weather was quite hot and humid and uncomfortable. Even then, CM did an end-to-end walk, right till Bnglar Haat.

Here are few press clippings appearing in today's papers:

Anandabazar dt 17.6.2014

The Telegraph dt 17.6.2014
Ei Samay dt 17.6.2014
ToI dt 17.6.2014
ToI dt 17.6.2014
Hindustan Times dt 17.6.2014
Khabar 365 dt 17.6.2014
Khabar 365 dt 17.6.2014
Sanbad Pratidin dt 17.6.2014
* * *

Monday, June 16, 2014

Water Cycling

Water-based rides already existing in Eco Park include Shikara, Paddle Boat, Motor Boat, Kayaking and Water Zorbing. To this was added yesterday: Water Cycling. A photo taken yesterday:

After duo-cvcling, now water cycling:
Unique experiences in Eco Park
We started "release a butterfly" campaign yesterday. Details are well-covered in the Hindusthan Times story appearing today.

Blue Tiger butterfly:
Bred and released in Eco Park
Hindustan Times dt 16 June 2014
* * *
Here are a few other clippings appearing today:
Khabar 365 dt 16th June 14

Times of India dt 15th June 14
Ei Samay dt 14 June 2016
Anandabazar dt 14.6.2014
Anandabazar dt 14.6.2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

CCTV for Eco Park

To ensure safety and security of the visitors at Eco Park, S.P. Chatterjee, Chief Engineer (Electrical) and his team have started installing Closed Circuit TVs in Eco Park. It will take a few weeks to complete the installations. The agency showed us a powerpoint presentation too. Here are two photographs:

Special zooming CCTV at Gate 2 of Eco Park
Using the web, views can be monitored
remotely too, as in Hidco Bhavan
* * *
Here is a clipping from today's Times of India:

And here is an advertisement that we will release tomorrow:

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bullish Finances

In the meeting of Board of Directors of Hidco held today, it was decided that fresh Expression of Interest would be invited for plots in Financial Hub in New Town. There are 23 such plots of varying sizes that will be put up on the EoI. Only Financial Institutions can apply. Earlier, 10 such Financial Institutions have taken up / are in the process of taking up plots in the Financial Hub. These are: NIC, WBFC, UCO, UBI, WBIDFC, Union Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Corporation Bank and Sriram Capital. In addition, Allahabad Bank had taken a plot earlier in this area. The Notices are expected to be published by next week.The last date of application will be 26th August 2014.

Meanwhile, a model of a bull is being installed on the Major Arterial Road opposite Finance Centre Building and near Gate 2 of Eco Park. I had seen a somewhat similar model near the New York Stock Exchange at Wall Street which is a great tourist interest especially for photos. Here is a photo that I took yesterday of the installation process whose engineering is being done by NKDA:

* * *
Here is a clipping from today's Khabar 365:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Mechanical Sweepers for New Town

With consistent efforts by NKDA's Engineers, we got two mechanical sweepers yesterday. The photos were taken yesterday afternoon:
Large Machine for Major Roads

Smaller Machine for Eco Park Pathways
* * *
Here are two clippings:
Anandabazar dt 12 June 2014

Khabar 365 dt 8th June 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Communication Strategy

Yesterday, I attended a workshop organised by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health at Delhi, under the aegis of NMCG (National Mission for Clean Ganga).
Mr Rajiv Mishra Mission Director NMCG, Ms Geetali Trivedi, Pradeep Krishnatray and Raj Kumar Jha of JHU, DAVP, NFDC and the states were present.
In the inaugural session, I mentined that other four states were Hindi speaking and so Bengal's Bangla identity must be preserved in developing campaigns. State variations like Durga Puja etc should be recognised and exploited as opportunities to communicate. Gangasagar should be projected as an international destination. And, how polluted Ganga affects each individual citizen should be highlighted.
I learnt quite a few insights too. For example, the survey by JHU had indicated that envirinment wasn't exactly on top priority of the man-on-the-river bank, that Bengal had a higher awareness on issues like avoidance of plastic waste etc.
Here is a picture on my mobile of the dais just after we descended:

Monday, June 9, 2014

100 mgd water project continues

This afternoon, I was invited by PHED engineers to see underground jack pushing operations just started in Ultadanga at beginning of VIP Road. The crossing across VIP road will take 5 days and the crossing across the canal to the other side will take 8 days. The pipes are six feet in diametre. Here are two photos:

In the picture with me are the following:
Sujit Bose MLA, Ananda Ganguly ED(E), Debashis Banerjee, EE PHED,
Project Manager Simplex and others.
Control Room of the Tunnel Boring Machine
* * *
Here is a clipping from today's Khabar 365:

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Angling Plans

Sutanu Sen of PMU has just finalised a design for angling decks to be put up in Eco Park lake. The high point is the recommendation for a multipurpose seat that has a stand for keeping a fishing rod and an under-the seat pouch for keeping miscellaneous objects that any angler has to carry. These seats would be removable and issued on rent to a person for day use. Suman Neogy, GM (Engineering) is making estimates for four angling decks for starter. Here is a 3D drawing of the fishing deck:

Design of proposed angling deck in Eco Park
* * *
Today's Mint carries an article on urbanisation saying that Kolkata ranks first in India according to a survey by an NGO Janagraha. I remember Janagraha from my Chief Electoral Officer days when they'd organised a campaign "A Billion Votes" urging students in colleges to enrol. Here are two clippings:

(Top and below) Mint dt 7.6.2014
The following link may also be visited:
* * *
Here are a few other clippings:

Khabar 365 dt 6th June 2014

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