Friday, August 26, 2016

National Conference on New Towns

Day before yesterday, we started on a new visioning exercise for New Town. This was based on a letter dated 22 August 2016 of Chief Secretary to all departments to prepare Vision and Mission ducuments for the long, medium and long term. The letter is being circulated to all Development Authorities from UD Department. Of these, New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has started the exercise with the help of IIT Kharagpur.
Dr T.N.Majumdar of IIT Kharagpur gave a presentation on a draft inception idea. All senior officers of Hidco and NKDA were present. In the presentation Dr Majumdar highlighted that new inequalities were being created in cities around the world with high profile corporate functions on the one hand and low skilled low wage mostly contractual services. This called for a dual approach to city development, with a Housing-Mobility trade-off for low wage labour. Indeed, I remarked at this point, the number of commuting persons to New Town is 200%of the resident population. I also remarked that problems of developing new cities were rather peculiar and similar and we coulld draw lessons from and compare experiences with such other similar cities like Lavasa, Amby Valley, Navi Mumbai,  Amravati, Naya Raipur and the like. We decided to hold an experience sharing national workshop in January 2017 in association with IIT.

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