Children’s Film Festival at Rabindra Tirtha

Kolkata International Children’s Film Festival 2019 started at Rabindra Tirtha today morning. Free entry, three times a day. For 7 days. Steven Spielberg’s ET will be screened in one show. Details can be seen at 

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Ei Samay 21.1.2019

Pous Parban at Swapna Bhor

A Pous adda in the open took place at Swapna Bhor today. There were songs, shruti-natak, cake cutting and dances. There was pithes briught in by memners and shared by all. A great fun way to remember the just-past pous sankranti in the winter afternoon sunshine.

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Khabar 365 dt 20.1.2019
Calcutta Times 20.1.2019

Synergy Workshop for e-Citizen-Services

Front row, sitting:
Anindi Chatterjee, MD Webel; Pawan Kadwan JS, me, Rajarshi Mitra, JS

Yesterday there was a workshop with officials of IT&E Department from all districts and all departments of the state government. The concept was to increase the linkages between the various silos like eDistrict, eOffice, eGovernance, eSilpasathi, IT Parks, eLearning so that the objective of Ease of Delivering Citizen Services can be achieved.

eDistrict has provision for online services like grant of domicile certificate or grant of building plan in the Districts. eOffice has provision of electronic files in departments. EGovernance covers eTenders and eAuctions and many more applications. Silpasathi gives one-window service to industry. IT Parks are co-working spaces for startups. eLearning offers basic courses as well as RedHat and Linux and other advanced courses. In the workshop, a first of its kind, a sensitisation was done so that the department of IT&E officials can create a synergy among themselves and among departments and districts to quickly solve citizen issues.

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Millennium Post 19.1.209
Ajkaal 19.1.2019
Times of India 19.1.2019
Khabar 365 dt 19.1.2019

100 key Hotel in BBCC Opened

Karan Paul, me, Firhad Hakim, Vijay Dewan

“Zone by the Park” opened in New Town’s Biswa Bangla Convention Centre today. It was inaugurated by Minister & Mayor Firhad Hakim. Dulal Mukherjee, Suman Neogy and others were present too.

Minister took a round. The hotel has come up very nice. There are 100+ rooms. There is a swimming pool at the roof. The hotel is collocated with the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre and is connected at two levels with the Convention Centre. Hidco has partnered with the Apeejay Group to Operate the hotel

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Millennium Post 18.1.2019

Designer Fence

Near Candor (earlier known as Unitech)

Digital cities have networks. Networks of optical fibres, cable TV, power cables, water pipes, sewerage pipes, drainage pipes, fixed-line telephone lines and roads. Modern cities have tall buildings. Keeping these in view and inspired by colourful metro maps in Paris, a designer fence has been installed in Action Area 3, near Candor Techspace, opposite to Sankar Netralaya in New Town… This was designed Abin Chaudhury architect with some inputs from me. Engineering was by Arup Ghosh of Hidco.

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Organic Market in New Town
On stage: Minister Purnendu Bose, Tapan DasGupta, Sujit Bose
MP Kakali Ghosh Dastidar

Today afternoon , near Harley-Davidson showroom, on 14 kottahs of land, the foundation stone of a G+6 storied organic market was laid by Minister Tapan DasGupta, in presence of Ministers Purnendu Basu, Sujit Bose and MP Kakali Ghosh Dastidar, Rajesh Sinha IAS, Pr Secretary Agri Marketing. There would be organic food, laboratory and training halls.

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Times of India 17.1.2019
Ei Samay 17.1.2019
Times of India 17.1.2019
Ei Samay 17.1.2019
Khabar 365 dt 17.1.2019
Business Economics 1-15 Jan 2019

Decentralised Planning

L-R: Ananda Ganguly ED Hidco, Debaditya Kumer Chief Planner, Sipra Mukhopadhyay
Senior Architect Hidco, Sukrit Chatterjee Chief Architect NKDA, me, Animesh
Bhattacharya CEO NKDA, Pradip Ray Chief Engineer NKDA, Sayanti /
Ruma Architects NKDA

We held an exercise on decentralised planning with residents of DB, DC and DD blocks of New Town at an open green space of DB Block. Senior engineers, architects, planners, administrators, traffic police, local police station as well as New Town School, Pool Car Operators and many residents had a lively discussion in the winter sun today afternoon. There was tea for all too. It was organised jointly by NKDA, Hidco and the block associations.

The idea was to have a face to face discussions at the spot to understand each other’s point of view. The decentralised planning exercise was to explain the nuances of every action taken.

I narrate few interesting discussions.

Someone said that a crematorium ought to be built. I pointed out that as a public facility, it would draw in people from nearby places till Barasat/Madhyamgram. Did we want it? Especially since hearses are quite an efficient rentable service now. For example, in the immersion ghat in New Town, increasingly images from Salt Lake and DumDum come and sometimes New Town idols don’t get a chance till 1 am.

Someone spoke of making the markets vibrant. I mentioned that there were more than 10 markets, all shops having been allotted through lottery. But there are not many shops for want of customers. And there are not many customers due to absence of open shops. So what to do? Perhaps take a vow not to do shopping from multiplexes or footpaths for a while and patronise the neighbourhood market?

The issue of buses and pool-cars creating traffic snarls and other problems due to presence of many drivers and helpers around New Town School came up. Police Traffic Inspector suggested that a guardians’ committee could discipline the pool car drivers. Hidco Engineers suggested that buses and pool cars can be parked in CBD in AA2 near Bagjola Canal where there are parking bays and Pay-n-Use toilets. After dropping children, the vehicles could park there and return 10-15 minutes before closing time.

Someone wanted another park in the green area. Others wanted a playground for football for the young. We decided to plan for a playing field with a perimeter pathway and few benches.

Issues of traffic signals, speed-breakers, CCTVs, fencing to prevent encroachments, beautifying canal-bank, mosquito prevention spraying, cleaning canals, community halls, stray dog menace, regulating labour gangs and their families so as not to cause annoyance to resident neighbours, unauthorised tea stalls on pavements and pedestrian subway at Narkelbagan crossing were discussed and decision for actions were taken there and then.

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Millennium Post 15.1.2019
Calcutta Times 15.1.2019
Times of India 14.1.2019
Times of India 14.1.2019

Treasure Hunt on Wheels

Today Sunday Morning at Nazrul Tirtha

A big car rally flagged of from Nazrul Tirtha. More than 100 groups participated. Nzrul Tirtha is venue partner because the rally promotes safe driving: points are deducted for traffic rule violations or speed limit crossing.

At New Town, we are stressing on clean air and supporting Electric Vehicles. Three electric buses running within New Town have already had a cumulative footfall of 86,183. There are 10 electric vehicle charging stations in New Town (Rs 20 per hour) at various fee parking zones. We are also planning to revise rules of NKDA so that for bulk plots above 10 hectares, 20% of the parking spaces would have to be reserved for EV charging spaces. We are also thinking of keeping at least two parking spaces in each fee parking zone in New Town reserved for EV parking. We are also encouraging private firms to set up demonstration EV charging points at prominent points like in front of MWM at their cost.

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Ei Samay 13.1.2019
Times of India 13.1.2019
Times of India 13.1.2019