Monday, August 20, 2018

Own a residential plot in New Town? Open a foodie at ground floor.

Cake shop in New Town
On 8th August 2018, the 41st meeting of the NKDA Board took a decision that allows you to easily set up a tea bar or a cafe or a food joint on the ground floor of your residential home in New Town. Soft Drink Shop, Snack Bar, Tea/Coffee Shop, Ice-Cream shop, Dry Food Shop are the preferred options. A permission and a nominal fee is required, and a trade licence too, but it is quite easy and costs little.

Restaurant below a residential house
 This is to encourage commercial activity, create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunity, bring life to city space and improve a sense of safety to late night passers-by when the shops are open.

This is in addition to the roadside cafes being built by NKDA/HIDCO (Cafe Ekante Express at Chinar Park and AA1 bus terminus), Biriyani Bars atop pay-n-use toilets at three places (Rotary 1, Mela Ground and Gate 3 Eco Park), Misti Hub (near Owl More), Mother Dairy (near Tata Medical Centre and Swapna Bhor), Gautam's (at Cybersecurity Building), Annapurna (Sweet Shop on residential property), Eco Space / Kolkata Gate (planned), community markets (old police station and TCS Gitanjali).

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

New Town now a Certified Green City

New Town Kolkata is now a Green City. It got a Gold Certificate from IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) recently. The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) is part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and tries to enable a sustainable built environment for all. It is one of the two organizations whose green building certification is accepted by the State Government for award of additional FAR (Floor Area Ratio) . The IGBC also rates towns and cities for 'greenness'

New Town is a Solar City. It is one of the 100 Smart Cities of India. It is trying to be a Happy City and is collaborating with IIT Kharagpur in this. It is covered under the Green City Mission of the State Government. Meanwhile, WBHIDCO had voluntarily submitted itself to IGBC to see how far it is already proceeded in the matter of sustainability and environment-friendliness. On 20th July 2018, I received a letter from the IGBC stating that New Town has been awarded a Gold Rating. Here is the certificate:
For getting the rating, IGBC considers the following:
1. Eco Vision of the City
2. Land Use Planning
3. Health and Well Being
4. Sustainable Mobility
5. Water, Energy and Infrastructure Management
6. Information Technology
7. Innovation

In respect of 'Innovation', special mention has been made of Water ATMs (now three in Eco Park), bamboo railings for medians, Tall Tree Nursery (joint venture of WBHIDCO and Forest Department Corporation) and Pocket Forests. In respect of 'Information Technology', special mention has been made of GPS based Vehicle Tracking for effective Solid Waste Management, Automatic Controls for all street lights, e-Governance (property tax, certificates, building plans etc all are done on-line in New Town). In respect of Sustainable Mobility, e-Buses (now three) have been mentioned.

Few suggestions for improvement have also been given. For example, to achieve heat island mitigation, IGBC has recommended that high reflective roofing material or vegetation may be used on exposed roofs whenever possible. It has mentioned that public buildings should all be made barrier-free for differently abled persons.