Monday, July 31, 2017

Original Jamini Roy Paintings to be deployed

50 original pictures of Jamini Roy will be shown from 8th August to 31st August 2017 at Nazrul Tirtha

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The Telegraph dt 31 July 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Upscaling: the new reuse formula in New Town

Swapna Bhor , New Town Kolkata

In course of our Smart and Green City journey for New Town, we have been emphasizing sustainable practices including the three R's (Reuse, Reduce, Recycle) for waste management.

Now a new dimension in being tried out: Upscaling.

In recycle, we think of crushing the waste product into its primitive form and using it again. Thus, glass recycling involves crushing bottles, melting the ground glass and shaping up again. This is quite energy and effort intensive. Upscaling means reuse without destruction, it means using the waste product innovatively not by crushing or melting but by few painting and adaptating for a different use. For example, used car tyres can be painted and mounted on poles to make colourful urban sculpture (I saw one at Santiniketan on a traffic island near a petrol pump). In Swapna Bhor, the Seniors' Park, we are painting empty cans to as hanging flower pots. We will also use used tyres for outdoor tables and benches soon. Ms Bidisha Bose, an interior wax specialist, has been helping us in this project.

Upscaled Paint Containers in Swapna Bhor

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Khabar 365 dt 30 July 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

Bengalathon to help ease Sector 5 Problems

The Bengalathon 2017 is organised around five problems faced by visitors, commuters and IT employees of Sector 5. These are (1) Car Parking (2) Disaster Management (3) Rain Water Harvesting (4) Solid Waste Management (5) Slow Traffic. The event started in June 2017 and is being made ready for final round of evaluation next weekend. I will be one of the Jury Members. There were 77 registrations but 25 submissions from Companies such as TCS, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Dextar Lab, Second Tech Gadgets etc. A total of 12 companies will be evaluated at the final round and awards will be given on the 11th August.
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Salt Lake Telegraph dt 28 July 2017

T2 dt 28 July 2017

Millennium Post dt 28 July 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

New Town Business Club Completees One Year

New Town Business Club observed its first anniversary today. Air Chief Marshall A K Raha (Retd) was the Chief Guest. He cut a cake, released a lapel pin for all members and showed a video on the journey of a member (Samaresh Das) to 10 countries by car, an event that was flagged of by me and A K Raha from the Club. This was followed by a high tea.
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Khabar 365 dt 26 July 2017

Dainik Statesman dt 26 July 2017

Aajkal dt 26 July 2017

Millennium Post dt 26 July 2017

Asian Age dt 26 July 2017
Bartaman dt 26 July 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

10 Applications sold on Day 1

At Unnayan Bhavan today, 25th July

The application kit and brochure for Gitabitan were launched by Minister Firhad Hakim today at 3pm at Unnayan Bhavan Salt Lake. A press conference was held. Since morning, many queries have started poring in at the helplines. 10 brochures were sold @Rs 500 each on the first day itself at Union Bank
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Anandabazar dt 25 July 2017

Ebela dt 25 July 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Gitabitan Plots to be launched tomorrow.

Here is a leaflet that will be launched tomorrow:

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Telegraph dt 23 July 2017

Millennium Post dt 23 July 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Combating the rains

Concreting deck slab with rain shelter for overbridge, yesterday

Bagjola Pumps at Jatragachi operating in full speed

We have mobilised all our engineering team members from Hidco, NKDA and PHED to  keep round the clock vigil in the rainy season. NKDA is putting teams to clear off plastics etc from drainage outlets. PHED is keeping an eye on the drainage pumping stations that are being operated on full steam. HIDCO is keeping in touch with Irrigation Department for keeping the level of Bagjola Canal under danger level. HIDCO engineers have also set up a temporary shed over the road overbridge at Jatragachi to enable concrete deck slab casting to be done without the rains hampering the works. Simultaneosly, we are monitoring the level of water in Eco Park lake so that it does not spill over to the gardens (yesterday's level was 1.2m while the maximum allowed is 1.9m). By operating the Jatragachhi pumps (see pic above), the level of the outlet canal of Eco Park is kept low so that the Lake water can be drained away when the level begins to rise. We have also identified few potholes that have occurred on the roads and engineers are waiting for a short dry spell when patchworks can be completed.
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Millennium Post dt 23 July 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Toto, Telecom and Gitabitan

Toto-based branding in New Town
Totos are economical and green (no CO2 emissions). So these are being used by NKDA / HIDCO to raise awareness for dengue prevention. In addition, regularly teams are visiting houses to make residents aware that water should not be allowed to accumulate on outdoors, to clean their internal drains and tanks and use mosquito nets. Fumigation teams use fogging machines while spray teams pump larva-killing liquids on canal banks and lake banks. A special leaflet composed by the consultant of NKDA is being distributed.
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Meeting after site visit at IT Park Bolpur yesterday
In order to exhibit the existing infrastructure at the IT Park Bolpur, I held a special joint inspection-cum-discussion with telecom operators (Reliance Jio, Vodafone, Airtel) at the IT Park at Bolpur. I explained that plug-and-play modules at most affordable rates were ready for allotment for contact centres, back office operations and assembly of hardware. They said they would take the issue with their management and revert.

Director NIELT was also there and was happy to see the infrastructure at the IT Park. He agreed to discuss with me next week in Kolkata.

I also held meeting with Webel, SDO and District Administration pointing out that one has to reach out to the Financial Sector (Mutual Fund, Stock, Bond dealers), On-line Handicraft market, On-line immersive tourism, as well as colleges to see how the IT Park can help them in start-ups.
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I reviewed the progress of Gitabitan Project and took action for the forthcoming launch of first phase of 54 plots on 25th July.
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Khabar 365 dt 22 July 2017
Salt Lake Telegraph dt 21 July 2017

Salt Lake Telegraph dt 21 July 2017

Times of India dt 21 July 2017
Abz dt 22 July 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

IT Parks in Durgapur and Asansol

Today whole day I spent at Asansol and Durgapur IT Parks. There are two phases in Durgapur IT Park, one that has just come up recently in the same compound is called Durgapur IT Park Phase II. The Asansol IT Park also came up recently, in 2016.

Both parks are well maintained, clean, with exterior landscaping and paved paths. Spaces are given on rent in three categories: Plug-n-Play AC, bare room AC and non-AC. spaces Rates for each category are adjusted to locations and quite reasonable : for Asansol, for instance, it is Rs 17 per sq ft per month (Plug-n-Play AC). Services like security, housekeeping are provided by Webel out of service portion of rent. The Plug-n-Play AC category is more in demand as it is difficult for entrepreneurs to move in furniture etc and take out while leaving. There are often quick turnarounds, I found. The cost factor is important: the max number of seats in one room appears to be a critical component and rather than the work stations with three side half partitions, a classroom arrangement is also being tried out by some.

Why do people come to work there? Why not work from one's house with a laptop and a data card, I asked someone. Because Financing from banks require trade licence and other papers. Because one needs to have an office to interact with customers and clients. Because group work is not possible at home. Because conferences and meetings are needed Mostly because of a sense of safety and security and scaling up requirements; after all, Bill Gates and Larry Page also had to move out of their garages, someone quipped to me.

I was curious to know what happens in these modules. At the Durgapur IT Park, one group is doing a niche work, dealing with end-to-end solutions for server storage for US clients. Another is developing Android and iOS Apps as well as search engine optimization on Google platform. One group is working on Financial Services. A large group is dealing with customer voice help services for whole of Eastern India. At Asansol, one group is doing software development, one is doing a fantastic job using maths based algorithms like Fibonacci series to do predictive analytics. Was the media-reported global IT downturn a concern for you, I asked someone. If the output is a complete product - as distinct from doing a bit of process as BPO in a long assembly line - there is no issue, he said.

I spoke to DM Paschim Burdwan, MD WBTC, CEO ADDA for some help that the IT employees wanted. But the sense that I got was that these Tier II cities need encouragement and recognition more than anything else, a hand holding and confidence building would go a long way, because though there is talent,  often there is a sense of isolation, a lack of networking opportunities. The IT Parks strives to break these walls (though there is intense secrecy among the units) but perhaps a critical mass needs to be formed around the IT Park in the town. Reaching out to individual entrepreneurs and young graduates in a systematic manner is a challenge that has to be met.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Exhibition of Jamini Ror Original Paintings in Nazrul Tirtha

Chairman Charukala Parishad Jogen Chowdhury gifting a set of
 Jamini Roy prints

Last Monday, I went to the HQ of West Bengal Charukala Kendra to finally discuss the terms of loaning the original pics.
We decided with the advice of Jogen Chowdhury, MP and Chairman of Charukala Parishad to show a display of several exquisite original Jamini Roys at Nazrul Tirtha ground floor from 8th August (Pochishe Boisakh) till 31st July 2017
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Khabar 365 dt 19 July 2017

Millennium Post dt 19 July 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

Camac Street

At 4 Camac Street this afternoon
 I took charge as Additional Chief Secretary, Department of IT and Electronics, Govt of West Bengal this afternoon at the Camac Street office. I remembered my entry from Writers' in 2005 when I was the Chief Electoral Officer. I met many of the old security staff there. Dr Krishna Gupta and I talked for some time and then he handed over charge to me. I took a round of the department (in 7th and 2nd Floor) and then met the senior officers briefly at the 7th floor conference room. I declared that (i) I want to shift to the new premises at Sector 5 Mani Bhandar by end of this month (ii) website of IT&E must be updated soon (iii) I wanted a web based solution for on-line booking of IT Park spaces
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Khabar 365 dt 17 July 2017

Khabar 365 dt 17 July 2017

Bartaman dt 17 July 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fastest or Slowest, Win a Prize !

Sunday before Independence Day. 13 August 2017. 6 am. Corporate Cycling Competition will be held. Both fast cycling and slow cycling events will be there. Last date of applying: 31st July 2017.

Anindya Das, our creative associate, has send me this promotional graphic:

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Khabar 365 dt 16 July 2017

Millennium Post dt 16 July 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Banmahotsav, Elevated Corridor and French National Day

Free saplings were distributed to New Town residents yesterday from New Town Mela Ground. There was a colourful chhou dance narrating the importance of protecting trees. The chhou dance was repeated at Eco Urban Village where we planted saplings.
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At the meeting of the EKWMA regarding elevated corridor from Kolkata Gate to EMByPass , I made a presentation and the proposal was approved.
Waiting for the approved minutes.
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At Novotel, the French National Day was observed yesterday.
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Salt Lake Telegraph dt 14 July 2017

Millennium Post dt 14 July 2017

Dainik Statesman dt 15 July 2017

Aajkal dt 15 July 2017

Khabar 365 dt 15 July 2017

Millennium Post dt 15 July 2017

Anandabazar dt 13 July 2017
Bartaman dt 15 July 2017