Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Online Smart Voting for Best Puja in New Town

Vote to make your Puja Win !
Go to

Choose your favourite community Puja


And make your pandel win ! Or the Durga image ! Or overall.

Tell your friend, friends' friends, and friends of friends' friends :) to vote as well. More the better.

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Till last year, NKDA used to organise a special Puja Parikrama with eminent persons as judges to rank Pujas of New Town. This year we have launched, instead, a popularity based system, crowdsourcing from people who are involved, building up a community bonding and team spirit as well.

Smart way to select a winner !

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Minister to launch Shehodiya tomorrow from Swapna Bhor

Minister Firhad Hakim will release the application kit for rooms at Snehodiya tomorrow 25th Sep at 3pm at Swapna Bhor. He will also visit a sample demonstration room in the Snehodiya Complex. Sale of application kits will begin immediately thereafter from selected Axis Bank branches.
Dr Sukumar Mukherjee will be the Chief Guest of this launch ceremony.

I along with GM Arup Ghosh and others inspected the project and made plans for the demonstration room. The project is likely to be completed by December 2018.

 Applications will be received till 31st May 2018. There would be 57 double bedded rooms and 90 single bedded rooms. One has to be 55 years as on 1.1.2017 to be eligible to apply.  The rooms in the two floors of 9th and 10th are premium rooms.
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(Later: 25th Sep, Evening)
Application Kit launched today (25th Sep 2017) at Swapna Bhor
by Minister Firhad Hakim.
Me, Minister, Dr Sukumar Mukherjee, Dr S. Debnath,
VP Axis Bank

Drawing Room

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Aroti Competition

Meeting with Puja Committees of New Town today: At Najrul Tirtha

We held a meeting of all Puja Committees of New Town (71 this year) at Najrul Tirtha today. IC of Police, CEO NKDA and CE NKDA were also present. We decided to continue with our traditions of lining up at Upasanasthal during immersion and having the traditional Dhunuchi Dance with Dhaks. I added another event this year. I appealed Puja organisers to have a Aroti dance with Pradeeps in a group and NKDA would give prizes to the best performing nes. I also added that in keeping with the smart nature of New Town, all Cultural Secretaries of all Puja Committees could organise a WhatsApp/ Facebook/ Twitter induced popularity votes to select the best cultural function (song, dance, recitation, skit etc) and that on receipt of the nominations the winners would be invited to showcase the performances at the city level cultural stage at New Town Mela on 24-31 December 2017.
I also requested Puja organisers to plant a tree each and send the photograph through WhatsApp along with a photo of the tree that was planted last year. We would post these on NKDA website. At least one Puja organiser re,arked that they'd plant 200 trees and another lamented that he could not send a picture of last year's tree as cows had eaten these: we all recorded his good will though and advised barricades this year.
We also decided, in the best New Town tradition, of being a model city of not violating any rule (mike, crackers, clean, green, immersion guidelines) that may be in existence or to be advised.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Services for Snehodiya

We held a review meeting yesterday on launching application kit of Snehodiya before the Pujas. We are trying to complete a model demonstration room unit before the Pujas so that people can experience the look and feel of a room. My attempt to slightly hurry is to bank upon the homecoming effect of Durgapuja, when sons and daughters living away try to come back to their families and think of togetherness during the festive period.

Snehodiya is located just opposite to Senior's Park at Plot No.BC/100/2 in AA-IB in
Action Area-I. There will be a G+10 main building, 2-storied Guest House. Each floor of
main building will have 5-12 twin sharing rooms with drawing/pantry space and
balcony, attached toilet. In each floor there will be attendant's room, common pantry,
spacious sitting place, designed by well known architect firm. There are 57 double
occupancy rooms and 90 single occupancy rooms.

This is a place for preferred living in a smart way. Theses are professionally managed, offering life style choice, 24x7 care for fitness and health. The allottees can invite their family to stay in the adjoining Guest House. They can get relief from home maintenance and enjoy maximum independence in life. There are entertainment facilities, facilities to improve social interaction, security of life and free membership in Swapno Bhor (Senior's Park) right opposite.

We are also trying for support / care service providers through an enlistment process for the following services. Residents can use their services on payment direct to them on an optional basis:
The present Expression of Interest for empanellment will expire soon but we hope to relaunch again.
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See also https://youtu.be/rKm-D92xLVo

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Light and Sound Show at "Sculpture Garden on History of Bengal"

The Sculpture Garden on the History of Bengal will be inaugurated by Minister Firhad Hakim on 20th September, Wednesday, at Eco Park. There will be a special light and sound show explaining the story of each of the relief panels. A unique feature is that the light and sound show keeps the audience moving from one panel to another in groups, moving as if with the passage of time, rather than sit and view from one place. For the elderly and very young, there will be few benches but most will have to stand-and-walk around to get the fascinating story. It will be open during day time also but the magical show will, of course, be missing. Artist Suvaprasanna (concept and art direction), Architect Partha Ranjan Das (Architectural Planning) and the group of young artists who made the panels are expected to be present along with Minister Hakim.
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About Sculpture Garden on the History of Bengal:-

A public sculpture garden on history of Bengal accessible to all has been set up at Eco Park. This is an outdoor garden dedicated to the presentation of sculpture. The idea of this sculpture garden has been conceived to portray the important land marks of the history of Bengal ranging from Shri Chaitanya Mahapravu of the medieval Bengal to Rabindranath Tagore of the 19th Century & 20th Century focusing on the appearance of a host of remarkable Bengali individuals in different walks of life and their profound, abundant and vital contribution to the society and the country as a whole. The panels of sculpture starts with the history of medieval renaissance in Bengal led by Shri Chaitanya and ends with Rabindranath Tagore’s ideals of education and foundation of Visva Bharati.
The 12 panels (Murals) are focused on:
Shri Chaitanya, the middle age renaissance of Bengal
Battle of Plassey
Raja Ramohan Roy & Renaissance of Bengal
Anandamath – Bankimchandra, The awakening of Bengal of India
Swami Vivekananada-Call of Youth and his activities
Santal Rebellion
The Indigo Movement
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose –Azad Hind Fauz and his revolution
Shri Arobindo – Revolutionary converted to a Rishi
Lalan Fakir to Kazi Nazrul Islam- a different spirit of revolution and culture
Rabindranath Tagore- The Visva Bharati Movement
Satyajit Ray and his world of films

In addition to the 12 panels (Murals) as above there are 52 portraits which starts with Shri Chaitanya Mahapravu and ends with Begum Rokeya. This lists include the host of remarkable individuals who through their activities in different walks of life prove to be the makers of the history of Bengal, especially in the 19th century.
A light and sound show will be held on evenings of duration about 40 minutes for each episode. These will be done alternatingly in English as well as Bengali. Unlike most other light and sound shows where the visitors sit at one place, here the visitors will be taken around the one acre sculpture garden with narration as if going along with the passage of time. Initially, tickets will be priced at a discounted rate of Rs 30 per head for first few weeks.
The design is conceived by Suvaprasanna, eminent artist. Principal architect is Partha Ranjan Das. Engineering is by Hidco. Sculptures are created by artistes Priyanka Kar, Chaitali Chanda, Subir Hati, Debabrata De, Samir Ray, Asim Pa, Deep Saha and Gautam Barman..
The Sound and Light part has been directed by Mr Beenu Pasricha while narration is by Shri Barun Chanda and Meghna Sen (English) and Madhumantri Maitra and Satinath Mukherjee (Bengali). The light electronics have been done in consultation with Mr. Kelvin Ashey.

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Please see https://www.facebook.com/Debashis.Sen.IAS

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cluster Approach : Visit of Ambassador of Mongolia : FinTech

Image may contain: 2 people, indoor
Mongolian Ambassador, Consul and me: Yesterday, at IT&E Deptt,
at my office in Sector 5

Yesterday, His Excellency the Ambassador of Mongolia to India visited the IT&E Department at Sector 5. I learnt a lot of Mongolia (extremely picturesque and touristic, script is phonetic and is written in a vertical manner - top to bottom, size is half of India but population is 33 lakhs, temp is -22 deg C in winter, promoting IT, Smart New Cities and data warehouse centres).

I explained our approach of doing IT in clusters. About the Sector 5 - New Town continuum ( we viewed from the glass wall of my office chamber), he remarked that it looked like a combination of Silicon Valley and Cocacabana beach of Rio de Janeiro ! I added that IT Hub, Analytic City at Kalyani (planned and earmarked), hardware clusters at Kalyani (IoT focus), Sonarpur (ICT focus) and Falta (Health ITeS focus) were examples of strategy for accelerated economic growth. I also added that the Education Hub of New Town (IIT, Presidency, St Xaviers' , Alia, Amity, UEM and other Universities) and the Financial Hub (23 institutions) of New Town have made us focus on the cluster approach once again to launch the FINTECH HUB in New Town. Formally this is being launched today at a CII Seminar on Banking at Lalit Great Eastern Hotel (I was supposed to be there but have to go out of Kolkata; Debjit Ganguly of NKDA will make a presentation and launch on my behalf at the CII seminar).

Here is a small animation that will be shown to explain this at the seminar today:


The notice inviting Expression of Interest can be seen at :


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Experiments at Beautification of Roadside Food Kiosks in Sector 5 and New Town

For a long time, we have been taking several strategies to deal with food kiosks on pavements on the roads of Sector 5 Salt Lake and New Town Rajarhat. IT offices in both the towns are many and most food shops have grown over the years which are extensively used by IT employees. A rough estimate indicates that close to 2 lakh IT employees commute to the two towns daily and economic food options at lunchtime make the street food economy a thriving enterprise.

So far our strategies have been, and indeed continues to be, as follows:

1. Relocation: Very successfully done in New Town near Unitech SEZ. A one-acre plot was developed adjacent (and this is the key, it has to be close to the present location) to the food shacks. The vendors were consulted from the inception. New stalls, with common dining areas, were distributed to existing owners through a transparent lottery (positioning is important, very much so), and the whole area is managed by NKDA nad a Committee. A showpiece. Took 3 years to operationalise.

2. Food Park: Being planned in Sector 5 with a multilevel car park with ground floor and first floor for relocated food kiosks

I have also been appealing to Corporate Houses to "adopt" food kiosks near their front pavements to look better, in the temporary time frame, and to NGOs to encourage the stalls to adopt fire safety and hygiene norms. However, to show them how this can be done, I've requested NDITA, NKDA and Webel each to take up 2-3 food kiosks on pavements and upgrade the looks.

Here are three examples (two are already in place: contact me on WhatsApp (+91 70031 50189) if you want to see) including one at the design stage:

At New Town: Graphics are being changed

At Sector 5 Salt Lake, near Techno India: Graphics display public interest messages

Design by Webel for Sector 5 Webel Gate Road
We are waiting for the Webel designs to be implemented as well and then refine the experiences and then invite Corporates to consider adopting. All till the permanent relocations happen.
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See https://www.facebook.com/Debashis.Sen.IAS

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Bankers' Meeting for Hidco Allottees

I held a meeting today with many banks including SBI, PNB, HDFC, Axis, ICICI, Union Bank etc to solve a problem flagged by many allottees of the  75 plots in Action Area 2 that were given through lottery. The problem was that banks usually give home loans against registered deeds but here the deed can't be given unless the payment is done : so what happens in the interim period? While the Hidco scheme allows for installment payments, there is a discount of 4% for 'down payment' i.e. full payment in one installment.

It was finally agreed that banks would give loan on the basis of the allotment letter and Hidco would give, on request, a 'comfort letter' confirming the identity of the allottee and other conditions.

This will hopefully solve the problems of 'land loan' rather than 'home loans'.
* * *

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Station Free Bike Sharing : Pre Bid

Bike sharing without stations: Meeting at NKDA
We from NKDA had published a notice inviting expression of interest for introducing a bicycle sharing scheme by interested companies at no cost to NKDA. The idea is to try and do something as in many Asian cities where using ITeS/GPS technology, people can rent bicycles at a very very small cost (all Apps Driven) and park it anywhere. An Indian Firm with Singapore collaboration ( see http://www.ofo.com/ ) and an Indian Firm who have been trying in Bangalore attended the pre bid meeting. A team from IIT Kharagpur was also there. There were two concerns expressed by the possible investors (1) Security of bicycles parked in the open have to be looked into (2) No parking fees are levied by ULBs the world over and may be waived as there is no cost to the government but citizens get a green transport option at a nominal cost.

We agreed to look into the suggestions.

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For Clippings, please go to https://www.facebook.com/Debashis.Sen.IAS/