Wednesday, May 31, 2017

German Design for Fountain in Eco Urban Village

Yesterday German Company Oase exhibited a video showing a spectacular fountain proposal for Eco Urban Village using Durga as a design inspiration. Director Mr Egon Lutkemier and others gave a presentation yesterday. Here is the link if you want to see:

We have asked them to give us cost estimates and DPR with O&M for 5 years for taking it forward
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Khabar 365 dt 31 May 2017

Millennium Post dt 31 May 2017

Millennium Post dt 31 May 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

Birbhum Zilla build Guest House in New Town

The Standing Committee of the Cabinet today allotted 10 kottahs of land in New Town to Birbhum Zilla Parishad. This is located close to Premashrsya, the guest house of Tata Medical Centre and the plot allotted to Lepcha Board few months ago, both close to Biswa Bangla Gate. The shape of the building would be like an Ektara, in tune with the Baul tradition of Birbhum.
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Khabar 365 dt 29 May 2017

ToI dt 29 May 2017

Anandabazar dt 29 May 2017

Aajkal dt 29 May 2017

ToI dt 29 May 2017

Millennium Post dt 29 May 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017

NKDA to Paint Jaisalmir Yellow

Yesterday the NKDA Board met. It approved a proposal of requesting residents to allow their building facades facing the Sonar Kella Park at BA Block to be repainted in Jaisalmir Yellow to make the Sonar Kella Park more aligned to the theme of the park.

Facades of buildings to be repainted by NKDA with Jaisalmir Yellow.
(Pic taken on inauguration day)

A request letter from NKDA would soon go to this effect. The buildings and facades have been identified and a budgetary estimate has also been framed. The park is on 3.65 acres of land between streets 110 and 146. The paintings would be done at NKDA's expense but only if all the owners agree to co-operate and permit.

Plans are also being drawn up for making a mini desert near the camels, a replica of Sonar Kella Gate, the desert railway station from the movie and several memories from the legend of Sonar Kella.
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Dainik Statesman dt 27 May 2017
Millennium Post dt 28 May 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

(1) Nazrul Jayanti at Nazrul Tirtha and (2) NKDA Generator Fire

Nazrul Jayanti was observed today at Nazrul Tirtha on behalf of Govt
of West Bengal; five ministers, one MP and two MLAs were there

Fire broke out in NKDA generator
room today morning;
no casualties, probe headed
by Chief Engineer ordered

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Bartaman dt 26 May 2017

Khabar 365 dt 26 May 2017

Asian Age dt 26 May 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MICE Destination

Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions tourism is a type of tourism in which large groups, usually planned well in advance, are brought together for a particular purpose. Most components of MICE are easily understood, with the exception of incentives. Incentive tourism is usually undertaken as a type of employee reward by a company or institution for targets met or exceeded, or a job well done. Unlike the other types of MICE tourism, incentive tourism is usually conducted purely for entertainment, rather than professional or education purposes.

MICE events are usually centered on a theme or topic and are aimed at a professional, academic or trade organization or other special interest group.

With the coming up of the Convention Centre and the exhibition grounds at Eco Park and nearby, we would now try to position Kolkata / New Town as a MICE destination.

In case you can't read the script in the above creative, here it is separately

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Millennium Post dt 24 May 2017

Millennium Post
dt 24 May 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nazrul Jayanti at Nazrul Tirtha

I just got an invitation card today from I&CA Department stating that Hon'ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would be at Nazrul Tirtha on 26th May 2017 to inaugurate Nazrul Janmajayanti at New Town's Nazrul Tirtha.

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Millennium Post dt 22 July 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Kolkata Gate : Works

Last Sunday, 14th May, Sunset Time (Pic: Rajib De)

Yesterday, Saturday 20th May, Morning (Pic: Suman Neogy)

Works on Kolkata Gate are continuing non-stop over the weekend, through the nights of Friday and Saturday and even now. Today Sunday night too works will continue. We have made officials' and engineers' team in shifts. Two of the four arcs constituting the ring have been erected, each weighing 65 MTs. Now welding is going on. Next week, the two smaller arcs will be lifted and aligned to the arcs already in place to complete the Viewers' Gallery Ring.
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Khabar 365 dt 21 May 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Residents' Meet on Prevention of Vector Borne Diseases

We had a residents' meet today at AA1C Market. Dr Chanda Etymologist and Hony Consultant of NKDA gave an authentic and detailed lecture using PowerPoint images to explain how mosquitoes create diseases and how to control mosquitoes. It was a very detailed exposition. I also added that (1) NKDA was running a health centre at Gate 4 of Eco Park where New Town residents can get themselves checked by the medical officer and also get free tests for blood sugar, blood pressure, oxygen saturation etc. (2) "Sattik" retail outlet in the same market building of AA1C was NKDA's retail outlet where organic, New Town grown (at Eco Park orchard, Swapna Bhor Kitchen Garden or Roof Top Garden) products and those supplied by govt entities like honey of Forest Department, rice of Agricultural Marketing Department etc were available (3) Residents could green and clean the area between their property line and the cycle track / footpath
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Design of Bike Taxi Stand

At the weekly review meeting today, Sandeep Ganguly, EE NKDA presented the design of the Bike Taxis. This was based on a pencil sketch that I had suggested a week ago. I made a few marginal changes only (no FRP for the shed but tensile cloth, under-bench LED lights etc) and we all agreed to proceed for inviting tenders.
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Anandabazr dt 18 May 2017

ToI dt 18 May 2017

Khabar 365 dt 18 May 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Virat Kohli at MWM

Virat Kohli's statue was installed in Mother's Wax Museum today.

I furnish below a complete list of statues now existing in MWM:
1. Mahatma Gandhi
2. Sarada Ma
3. Ramakrishna
4. Mother Teresa
5. Swami Vivekananda
6. Rabindranath Tagore
7. Kazi Najrul Islam'
8. Netaji Subhas Bose
9. Sheik Mujibar Rahman
10. Pranab Mukherji
11. Dt B R Ambedkar
12. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam
13. A.J.C.Bose
14. Satyen Bose
15. Albert Einstein
16. Virat Kohli
17. Sachin Tendulkar
18. Saurav Ganguly
19. Kapil Dev
20. Diego Maradana
21. Lionel Messi
22. Manna De
23. Lata Mangeskar
24. Kishore Kumar
25. Mithun Chakraborty
26. Amitabh Bachchan
27. Shah Rukh Khan
28. Salman Khan
29. Uttam Kumar
30. Suchitra Sen
31. Satyajit Ray
32. Michael Jackson
33. Tom Cruise
34. Bruce Lee
35. Johny Deep
36. Daniel Craig
38. Audrey Hepburn
39. Julia Roberts
40. Bruce Willis
41. Brad Pitt
42. Angelina Joilie
43. Nicole Coleman
44. Sarat Chandra
45. Ram Mohan Roy
46. Vidyasagar
47. Sri Aurobindo
48. Pt Ravi Shankar
49. Hemanta Mukherjee
50. Mr Bean
51. Harry Potter
Plus there are 3D statues of  Motu-Patlu, Chhota Bhim, Batul , Spiderman, Ironman, ET, Avatar, Jaadu, Jedi, light tattoo room, scary room souvenir shop etc.

New additions happen every now and then.
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Khabar 365 dt 16 May 2017

Times of India dt 16 May 2017
Millennium Post dt 16 May 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Second Anniversary of Cafe EkanteCake cutting today

At Cafe Ekante, Eco Park today

Weeklong Special Promotion

Today 15 May 2017 is the second anniversary of Cafe Ekante's main unit at Eco Island of Eco Park. Today we cut a cake with Cafe Ekante logo with few officers of NKDA and Hidco. We have launched a rather amusing offer for a week: whomsoever "likes" the new Facebook page on 16-19 May i.e. tomorrow Tuesday to Saturday, can get a 10% discount on basic food bill (before taxes) at the Eco Island restaurant of Cafe Ekante. One can just mention the name and the fact of "liking" would be verified by the staff by looking at the list of persons who are on the "like" list... Someone questioned whether other units of Cafe Ekante (e.g., one at New Town Business Club) would get it too: but no, the benefit would be available only at the base unit at the Eco Island.

Looking back, some highlights of the Cafe Ekante journey:
1. Hon'ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited it twice. Several more times at the lawns and glass house on the occasion of  BGBS (twice), visit of Chinese Vice President, and few other times where too Cafe Ekante team had a good supporting role to play. We are deeply grateful to the Hon'ble CM for constantly encouraging us and also for giving the name "Ekante".
2. Filmstars visited, for shooting or on invitation; TV serials have been shot on the lawns.
3. Online booking of cottages started. Swipe machines for cards and PayTM options were introduced from early days. Tie up with Zomato lasted for a year or so.
4. Wooden pedestrian bridge to connect the Eco Island with mainland was constructed before which the only way to reach it was by boat. Special separate jetty was built for bulk item ferry. Staff block with bunkers, lockers and showers were built near car park near wooden bridge.
5. Staff Training by IHM and Karmayogi took place.
6. To cater to increasing waiting visitors, the adjoining lawn was used to set up outdoor tables.
7. To cater to people waiting for the boat on main Eco Park, a counter was set up on a jetty near Gate number two.
8. The Kerala style Houseboat restaurant was opened.
9. Home delivery started in Sector 5, New Town and Chinar Park zones.
10. Dinner table reservation facility was introduced.
11. Sunset Boat ride, with snacks are served on a floating restaurant travelling for an hour, started.
12. Cuisine changed from Bangla, through Muglai fusion to Chinese / Continental
13. Special menus and events for special occasions (Poila Boisakh, Jamai Shashti, Bhai Phonta, Mothers' Day, Valentine's Day, Christmas, Durga Puja, World Cup Cricket finals and several more) were organised in tune with the popular sentiment. Barter tie ups with FM radio were done: free lunch to winners of a weeklong quiz on Eco Park, for instance.
14. Two counters at Nazrul Tirtha  were opened, one for ground floor hall, one for seccond hall on second floor.
15. One counter at Bus Stand in AA1 was opened.
16. The restaurant at MWM started functioning when the earlier franchisee stopped. It is earning decently too.
17. New Town Business Club restaurant is managed by Cafe Ekante.
18. Marriages of son/daughter of many dignitaries including Coal India Chairman, Justice A Roy etc took place on the lawns
19. Numerous guests have enjoyed staying in the cottages and doing conferences in Utsari Glass Hall.

All along, the Cafe Ekante Team led by Tirtha Sadhu, Sourav, Alok, Sujata, Arka, Dilip,  and so many others, ably led by GM (E) Suman Neogy, Habibur and his support team, were able to post an operating revenue surplus. Arup Ghosh, GM(E) took special interest in designing the beautiful counters at Nazrul Tirtha 1 and NT2. Gopal Poddar gave the interior concepts including photos and sital pati.

I thank Team Cafe Ekante for doing so well in such a short time. Yes we must improve further, we are constantly trying to listen to all feedbacks. But the journey so far has been absolutely sparkling to me. And I repeat, from the second month itself, it is running at an operating surplus, though modest, and thus contributing to Hidco's development projects.
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Sunday, May 14, 2017

RMN for Information

In satellite TVs like Tata Sky, you are encouraged to register your mobile number. Once this is done, you can make requests such as adding pay channels, requesting help and so on.

I was getting some feedback for some time that some residents of New Town were not receiving information on events of New Town itself. A resident in AA2 emailed me recently to say that she was not aware of Eco Park events like celebration of World Parks Week even though she stayed close to it.

We had a brainstorming session yesterday with officials of NKDA and HIDCO and decided to regularly send event information, resident meet details, green & clean messages etc to residents (or anyone interested) either through SMS or through WhatsApp. Bulk SMS or Broadcast WhatsApp would be used to inform focused information (Movie timings of Najrul Tirtha, Cultural evenings at Rabindra Tirtha or Swapna Bhor etc) to those who wish if they register their mobile numbers with us.

To facilitate RMN recording, we will soon put up a box on the website of NKDA / Hidco.
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Times of India dt 14 May 2017

Millennium Post dt 15 May 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017

New Enquiry Counter of Hidco

The reception Counter of Hidco Bhavan is located at the first floor lobby. So visitors have to be screened by the gate security once, and again at the reception counter. Many just wish to know brief information, others wish to give letters. Someone may want to meet an officer and it may happen that he is not there, but even then he has to go inside, cross security at gate, walk several steps to Hidco Bhavan lobby and then queue up to the reception to be told about the officer's absence .

This also poses a security problem, as happened in not too long ago, hundreds of people entered in small groups at the reception lobby and then raised slogans.

So, to help alleviate visitors' problems, the Reception (here called Enquiry and Information) now faces the main road's footpath/ service road. It is air conditioned inside and has a ramp as well as a short staircase at the outside. No trees were cut during construction.

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Millenium Post dt 13 May 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

Meeting with Stakeholders and NGOs to be held at Sector 5

With the co-ordination of the Sector 5 Stakeholders' Association of Nabadiganta, and with especial initiative by Anidya, I held a very effective meeting yesterday at Nabadiganta with  seven NGOs who would partner with NDITA to work in Sector 5 towards a green and sustainable development. Anindya has sent a summary minutes, which is given below (slightly edited). We are planning to invite all property owners of Street 13 (Wipro More to Ring Road / Godrej Waterside)  and the NGOs in a round table discussion on 25th May 2017.

Organization Proposal
NDITA Feedback
Ad My Bin
They would provide free smart bins along with advertising opportunity on bins. 
No ads on bins would be allowed. Asked to come up with an incentive system to encourage use of bins. However NDITA is interested in smart bins concept
Awareness & collection of e-waste from corporates in Sector V
Hulladek can come up with a payment process to procure e-waste. E-waste collection centres in Sec V which can maintained by Hulladek might be examined.
Green Legion
Awareness on composting and waste segregation 
Green Legion can tie-up with wholesalers to purchase broken cables, broken classes. A weekly truck can visit buildings in Sec V to collect waste
Nature Mates
Biodiversity awareness & conservation on terraces and vacant patches in association with corporates. Awareness at Wetland areas
Property owners can take charge of the green stretches along their property. A board mentioning “ Property of NDITA & Maintained by ABC” can be allowed. No advertisements.
Heavy corporate campaign for segregation of waste. Training of municipal ward boys with gears for waste recycling.
Rainwater harvesting.
Recycling can be undertaken only when it is purchased from people. Rainwater harvesting can be done but not for ground water recharge. Terraces can be used for rain water harvesting
Earth Day Network
With focus on low carbon lifestyle - use of solar energy can be popularized. LED bulbs for roadside hawkers in Sec V
EDN could come up with sensors that switch off computers when not in use for long , or like Rajarhat has sensors for street light use. NDITA suggested if EDN can act as intelligent partner to different shops/retail outlets for implementation of LED
Green for Life Foundation
Awareness, segregation, collection and recycling of waste and produce products. Tree plantation on patches or stretches.
Green for Life should come a with an incentive scheme for people from whom they collect Waste. Free file covers in turn for the waste plastic collected.

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Khabar 365 dt 11 May 2017

Millennium Post dt 12 May 2017

Khabar 365 dt 11 May 2017

Khabar 365 dt 12 May 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Heat and Construction

Administrative Building of NKDA
Last Monday, in course of the routine weekly site visit of teh new Administrative Building of NKDA now being built near Rabindra Tirtha, the workers omplained that day time sun was so hot that by mid-day work was getting almost impossible to do, that the steel rods were becoming so hot that one couldn't even touch it, let alone do work. So we decided to shorten daytime work-time and instead introduce evening-time works upto midnight. Today I received a photo from Sandip Ganguly, Executive Engineer NKDA confirming that late night works were in full swing:

Night shift works ongoing
NKDA is now housed in 3 buildings and work is increasing day by day. Introduction of Property tax will make more demands on office space. The works are being done by EIL, a Central PSU. The phase 1 will consist of a Basement, a Ground level car park and four stories. The foundation is however capable of supporting 10 floors and the building can be expanded upwards in future.
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Dainik Statesman dt 10 May 2017
Khabar 365 dt 10 May 2017