Sunday, April 30, 2017

Culture Hub: Now Book Release too

Prasanta Majhi, Purabi Basu, Tarun Goswami, Me
Now Book launches too. At Swapna Bhor, New Town. Like Oxfordbookstore in Park Street / New Delhi and many other places, with the initiative of Prasanta Majhi, we had the first book launch ceremony at the library of Swapna Bhor.
The library of Swapna Bhor design was influenced by the Oxfordbookstore in the Stateman House Building at Connought Place, Delhi. There are large clear glass walls along which comfortable chairs are placed for quiet reading with a picturesque view of outside. There is a coffee shop too and new books for reading and buying. There is, in addition, a lending section and a stock of daily newspapers and magazines.
The book release made last week was a travelogue by a member of the Swapna Bhor called "Amar Dekha Deshguli" by Purabi Bose. Mr Tarun Goswami of Millennium Post released it. I highlighted that there could be more such events. This would merge well with our overall architecture of positioning New Town as an alternative to Nandan-Rabindra Sadan- Academy of Fine Arts- Rabindra Sarovar with Najrul Tirtha - Rabindra Tirtha - Swapna Bhor - Wax Museum - Art Exhibitions and Poetry Festivals . And now book releases too.
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Times of India dt 30 April 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Convention Centre Review

We are now trying to project New Town Kolkata as an Exhibition and Convention centre of South Asia. We had a review meeting yesterday at Hidco Bhavan with officers of Hidco, NKDA, L&T and other agencies. I mentioned that a large number of exhibitions and conventions have been taking place in New Town Kolkata. Few segments where this zone has already been considered a preferred destination are as follows:-

1. Mining equipment exhibition. Heavy equipment cannot be taken in interior and central part of Kolkata due to height and weight restrictions .( CII 2016, Eco Park grounds, Indian Foundry Association )

2. Entertainment including musical shows. Huge number of youths prefer to come from across India / North-East India and it is easy to reach from the Airport. The NH7 band was held in an area on the borders of New Town. Zee Saregama finals and Sunburn Music Event with Snake DJ was held on grounds near Eco Park. There are large concrete/ paved flat grounds with all amenities like electricity, water, and most important, sanitation and sewer lines with existing workers’ toilets.

3. Professional and medical/ sports conferences. There is a tremendous demand for national and international conventions. The 400 seater Najrul Tirtha has hosted National Cancer Symposium, Taekwondo Summit and Body Building shows. There are two additional 400 seater auditoria collocated in the State Convention Centre site, soon to be commissioned.

4. Largest convention centre in Asia with 3,200 seats in single auditorium, is the largest single indoor convention area available with a huge stage, banquet hall, seminar rooms pre-function area multi-level car parking and 100 room collocated hotel with all amenities. Advance  bookings till 2019 are already being received even though the target completion date is on second half of 2017. Nearness to 480-acre Eco Park is an additional attraction for participants.

5. Large tract of open-to-sky grounds available in New Town for hanger-based massive expos, without traffic congestion and close to airport.Large number of hotels including the largest 5-star hotel of Kolkata (Novotel) as well as other hotels would give delegates additional choices. A business club, a dedicated movie theatre (NazrulTirtha) for special screenings and a 250 yard golf driving range add to the attractions.

In view of all these, I argued, we must carve out a strategy to project New Town as a Exposition and Convention destination. And the crucial issue is to complete the Biswa Banga Convention Centre on time.
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Aajkal dt 29 April 2017

Bartaman dt 29 April 2017

Millennium Post dt 29 April 2017

Asian Age dt 29 April 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017

World Urban Parks Week

World Urban Parks is an organization for open space and recreation having its office in New Zealand. It champions urban park outcomes for city liveability, place-making, conservation and access, and provides strong networking services by connecting, leveraging and supporting diverse countries across urban parks, open space and recreation community and allied sectors. They are a community wanting to make a better world and who are ready to help each other.
Eco Park, New Town, Kolkata is the only park from India to have been accommodated in the World Parks Week event on 29th April, to 7th May, 2017. The organization has mentioned that Eco Park is a fine example of a large urban park in India. It has also extended an invitation to WBHIDCO to join the World Urban Parks standing committee.
WBHIDCO is going to celebrate World Parks Week which will be stated from 29th April, 2017 to 7th May, 2017, the events are as follows, all of which will be held in Eco Park.

Around 400 participants are expected to take part in this event. All applications have been made on-line. Winner of every event will get trophies and participation certificates. Prize distribution ceremony will be held on 7th May, 2017 followed by a performance by award wining singers of the World Park Week cultural competition and a cultural function including RAP performance by Feyago.

Also see:

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The Statesman dt 28 April 2017

Khabar 365 dt 28 April 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mechanical Street Cleaning

Yesterday, we launched a new mechanical road sweeping machine in New Town. The machine has the capability of spraying a forced water-jet, scrubbing by a rotating brush with steel bristles, a powerful vacuum suction head and an extendable side arm to take care of the curb-joints and difficult-to-reach corners. We from NKDA have been using these machines on the Major Arterial Road (Biswa Banga Sarani) for the past two years and after fitting these with GPS locators we are satisfied with the performance and have got this new one. This is to extend mechanical road sweeping not only to the Major Roads but also to a major portion of the internal roads. NKDA is not the owner of these machines as operations and maintenance would have been problematical for it. So just as offices often hire cars-with-drivers, NKDA hires the services rather than the equipment. Machinery, or rather sweeping uptime is thus almost 95% because the agency-operator don't get paid if it doesn't clean while the GPS tracker keeps record on the computer of how and where the cleaning operations are going every hour of the day.
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Times of India dt 25 April 2017
Millennium Post, page 1,  dt 25 April 2017
Anandabazar dt 25 April 2017
Khabar 365 dt 26 April 2017

Millennium Post dt 26 April 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Food Court by Self Help Group

Near Eco Space

First floor will be used as a food court. Ground floor will be used as a Pay-and-Use Toilet. Both will be operated by a Self-Help Group of women from neighbouring villages who were also given a short training on Business Management by Alia University a few weeks ago. Now we will wait to see if at least few of the unauthorised food shops on pavements opposite Eco Space get a run for their money or not.
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ToI dt 24 April 2017

Aajkal d 24 April 2017
Khabar 365 dt 24 April 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Simple weedicide

Dying Parthenium Weeds in Action Area 1
Parthenium plants are undesirable, hard-to-eradicate weeds that grow wildly in many parts of empty plots of New Town. The traditional method of getting rid of this menace is to uproot and burn. This is a slow labour intensive method that creates smoke pollution too. I'd asked the Director of Agriculture about better ideas. As advised by him, we used a 5% brine solution (basically salt water) and sprayed it over a 5 acre plot near the bus stand of Action Area 1. Soon (see pic above) after three days, the plants are beginning to die. We will monitor further before expanding.

We are simultaneously drawing up a plan for residents' participation in keeping New Town greens beautiful. Any area in front of a housing estate or a business house will be offered for beatification and maintenance from the CSR of Corporates or Social Budgets of Resident Welfare Associations. A list of gardening firms who work in the neighbourhood would be provided on request in a meeting (to be called soon).
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Bartaman dt 23 April 2017

Advertisement in Bartaman
 dt 23 April 2017

Millennium Post dt 23 April 2017

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Smart Vertical Garden Commissioned

At Gate 2, Eco Park

The vertical garden at Gate 2 of Eco Park was commissioned today. This is smart because it uses geotextile pockets, jute fibre instead of soil, controlled drip irrigation through a pipe network and sensors to sense humidity from control room and operate the pump as required. Vertical gardens such as this is useful in making cities have a greener look by greening concrete structures, both indoors and outdoors, and metro pillars or office receptions.
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Dainik Statesman dt 22 April 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Earth Day at Sector 5

Photo courtesy Nirupam Chowdhury
At Sector 5's Godrej Infinity Benchmark, Earth Day was observed. Well performing corporates were felicitated. Even I accepted a prize on behalf of Nabadiganta.
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Ei Samay dt 21 April 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fire Safety Week at Rabindra Tirtha

Fire & Emergency Services officers and NKDA officers at
Rabindra Tirtha just after the training programme today

Few days ago, fire broke out just outside the wall of TCS campus Gitanjali, in the food stalls on pavement. This was caused by a LPG cylinder catching fire. One person died. We decided to have a formal training today, being the last day of the fire safety week (14 April - 20 April). It was held at Rabindra Tirtha where officers of NKDA, Hidco and stall owners of NKDA market opposite to Unitech in AA3 were present.

We learnt about A,B,C and D type fire extinguishers, learnt that naked flames cannot be used in temporary sheds and that markets should have centralized fire fighting equipment. A demonstration was also held outside.
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Ei Samay dt 20 April 2017

Khabar 365 dt 20 April 2017

Millennium Post dt 20 April 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Lottery for 139 EWS Flats

We all were there at Netaji Indorr Stadium from 10 in the morning till 6 in the evening. Lottery started at 11 am sharp with Mr A K Pattanayak, IAS(R) and Mr A K Raha IFS (R) as Observer-Judges. Yesterday evening I'd done a site co-ordination meeting with all including Kolkata Police, Decorator Agency, Engineers and PWD. Today everything went of well and results for allotment of 139 flats were declared and pasted at the Stadium outdoors today itself. It'd be uploaded in the website today/tomorrow. 20 names have been listed as wait listed ones though theirs and all other unsuccessful applicants' application money would be returned through netbanking very soon, by four weeks max. After putting in the application tokens by applicants present, the actual lottery started at around 3 pm. Since almost everyone present in the applicant-audience wanted to do it all at once, I informed that firstly, women would draw the lots, then senior citizens, then persons with children: all this categories to ensure that there was no rush.
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Dainik Statesman dt 19 April 2017

Anandabazar dt 19 April 2017

Aajkal dt 19 April 2017

Anandabazar dt 19 April 2017
Asian Age dt 19 Ap 17

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Prize to Highest Property Tax Payers

Hon'ble Minister Firhad Hakim felicitated top three property tax payers for FY 2016-17 today afternoon at Unnayan Bhavan. The top three were:
1. Bengal Intelligent Parks : Rs 2.22 cr
2. Forum Projects Holdings: Rs 1.55 cr
3. Institute of Engineering and Management: Rs 1.06 cr

Here are some details that was prepared for the occasion:

Kolkata – April 17, 2017 : During last 5 – 6 years Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA) has been able to take a number of innovative initiatives for infrastructural upgradation, beautification and for providing improved citizen centric services. Some initiatives have also been taken for better traffic management in this Township.
NDITA renders various services to the community of Sector V, which includes services like Water supply, Sewerage, Solid Waste Management, Street Lighting, Beautification, Road Maintenance, Town Planning, electronic Surveillance etc.
NDITA depends mostly on its own resources for all the services provided by it. Property Tax Collection constitutes a major part of the total revenue receipt of NDITA.  The Property Tax Collection for the FY-2015-16 was Rs. 38 crore and the same for FY: 2016-17 was about Rs. 40 crore. NDITA plans to raise it Rs. 45 Crore in the next year.
The Property Tax Collection is utilized for various development works of NDITA.  Some of the major Development works implemented recently / taken up are :-
* Development of a Ring Road - This 2.5 km long Ring Road, a three laned new road, circumvents the Township and provides a proper solution to the complex transportation system of the area.
* Widening and strengthening of Salt Lake By-pass
* Implementation of Wi-Fi network service in NDITA Area
* Online processing of Certificate of Enlistment (Trade Licence)
* Online Property Tax Payment
* Upgradation of different road with mastic Asphalt
* Construction of Storm Water drainage pump house
* Construction of Link road to New Town
* Construction of Administrative Building
* Construction of Town Hall
* Development of 215A bus Terminus including construction of Gate
* Development of multistoried parking facility in NDITA
* Implementation of laying Underground Cable Duct
* Construction of Drainage line of footpath, illumination and allied beautification along the link road including mastic work.
* Mobility Improvement Plan for NDITA Area
* Development of Bicycle Track along the Salt Lake Bypass road
* Landscaping and beautification in different road side median to beautify the NDITA area.

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Bartaman dt 18 April 2017

Aajkal dt 18 April 2017
Khabar 365 dt 18 April 2017
Millennium Post dt 18 April 2017
Times of India dt 18 April 2017
Pratidin dt 18 April 2017