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Latest News In and around Kolkata

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  • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

    Kolkata: Dakshineswar Metro ready for mid-February opening


    Ajanta Chakraborty | TNN | Jan 29, 2021, 08:11 IST

    Metro Railway GM Manoj Joshi inspected the stretch on Thursday

    KOLKATA: Dakshineswar Metro, ready for a mid-February opening, will be connected to the existing north-south line in next three days. And the 4km new section and its signalling system will be permanently linked to the existing 27km Noapara-Kavi Subhas corridor.

    Sources said the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), which gives the safety nod to any new Metro across India, is likely to inspect the 4km section next week. Subject to CRS’ nod, the new line may be thrown open to the public in the second week of February.



    Ahead of the CRS’s visit, the “electronic interlocking” or EI is being commissioned in the next two days. To ensure a smooth transition, Metro Railway general manager Manoj Joshi inspected the stretch on Thursday. Senior officials of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), the agency implementing most of the city’s Metro projects, and those from Metro Railway, which runs the city’s rapid transit system, were with him. Last week, CRS gave the preliminary or “minor sanctions’’ relating to the two new stations, Dakshineswar and Baranagar.

    EI commissioning involves connecting the new system to the operations control centre (OCC) or the “brain” of the existing line. OCCs are central to all Metro operations. A power block is needed to link the new system and its signalling network the centralized panel that controls and determines train movement. For modification of the interlocking system of the Noapara station, which is an operational station, no train will ply out of this terminal on Sunday. From Monday, a uniform signalling system across the 32km Kavi Subhas-Dakshineswar stretch will be in place.

    Joshi was noncomittal on the imminent CRS visit: “We have sent our request for inspection. The CRS will give its date.” About the opening date, he said, “We cannot give our report on the system’s readiness without the CRS approval. Only when we get the authorization, can we request Railway Board to allow commercial operations.”

    Joshi did a survey of the two new stations and the old one, checking the telecom maintenance rooms, train timing indication boards, customer care centres, escalators and the signalling system. Two rakes consecutively chugged along the section for the first time on Thursday. While the GM, RVNL executive director A K Roy and other officials were on board MR-411 from 10am till 12.30pm, another train, MR-413, was used for a documentary shoot in the afternoon.











    Kolkata: Dakshineswar Metro ready for mid-February opening | Kolkata News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
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    • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

      West Bengal CM allots over 4,600 houses to tea garden' workers

      The 12 tea gardens where workers got the allotment are Mujnai, Rahimpur, Lankapara, Dheklapara, Red Bank, Torsa, Dharanipur, Manabari, Sukna, Gayaganga, Grassmore and Atal. File photo FALAKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday issued 4,611 house allotment orders to workers spread across 12 tea gardens in Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling, living up to a promise she made last year to those who didn’t have dwelling units.

      In a region where Trinamool Congress suffered a rout in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee also announced her government’s decision to bring Falakata and Mainaguri under municipalities.

      The CM reached out to Falakata — having a heavy presence of Adivasi tea garden workers and Rajbanshis — a day after Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a Rs 1,000 crore welfare fund for tea garden workers in Bengal and Assam. She also attended a mass marriage ceremony of 450 Adivasi couples as part of a community policing programme.

      “Many have made promises about tea gardens. We are not like others. We keep the promise we make. I had kept Rs 500 crore for setting up dwelling units for tea garden workers. Today, I am giving you the housing allotment orders,” she said.

      The 12 tea gardens where workers got the allotment are Mujnai, Rahimpur, Lankapara, Dheklapara, Red Bank, Torsa, Dharanipur, Manabari, Sukna, Gayaganga, Grassmore and Atal.

      Addressing the gathering at Falakata, Banerjee said: “There are many BJP MPs in north Bengal. Have they done anything for you? BJP leaders had promised to open seven closed tea gardens ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. They disappeared after the elections were over. On the contrary, we have opened nine tea gardens.”

      The CM then narrated her government’s achievements for north Bengal, including setting up of state secretariat Uttarkanya and the Rajbanshi Development Board.

      “We have banned transfer of Adivasi land. This government is the government of Adivasis, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and poor tea garden workers. We have written to the Centre for recognition of Sarna religion of the Adivasis. Wages of tea garden workers have increased from Rs 67 to Rs 200 during our tenure,” she added.

      Banerjee iterated her government’s decision to announce state holidays on the birthdays of Adivasi icons Birsa Munda and Raghunath Murmu, Rajbanshi icon Panchanan Barma and Matua guru Harichand Thakur. “We have named the second campus of Cooch Behar University after Panchanan Barma. The government has also introduced a certificate course on Rajbanshi language. As many as 52,000 students are pursuing the course.”

      She also told the gathering how her government has arranged for free rations under Khadya Sathi and free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh annually under Swasthya Sathi. After her speech, the chief minister danced with a group of Adivasi women to the beatings of dhamsa.













      West Bengal CM allots over 4,600 houses to tea garden' workers, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)

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      • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

        Kolkata: Bird shelters may become must for upcoming New Town buildings

        Hidco organized recently an interactive session where bird expert and secretary of Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS), Biswajit Roy Chowdhury, delivered a talk on birds of Kolkata. File photo

        KOLKATA: The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) is planning to come up with a mandate that all upcoming buildings in the township will have to set up bird-friendly small box like structures on roofs.

        The Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) organized recently an interactive session where bird expert and secretary of Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS), Biswajit Roy Chowdhury, delivered a talk on birds of Kolkata. It was discussed during the talk that modern buildings lack the old time architectural features like ‘ghulghuli’ that would help birds build small nests and that trees for social forestry should be chosen carefully to attract birds to build their nests.

        According to estimates, around 133 species of birds have been spotted in New Town’s Pakhibitan and its surrounding areas. Of these species, about 99 are migratory birds while the other 34 birds are found throughout the year. Among the rare species of birds that have been spotted in the township are yellow bittern, Taiga flycatcher, Siberian rubythroat, greater coucal, plumheaded parakeet, common snipe and several others.

        “The idea of setting up bird-friendly structures on the roofs of upcoming buildings is in an initial stage and we will discuss the matter again,” said an official.

        Hidco, in consultation with experts, will also finalise a list of trees that can be planted on the median dividers in New Town. This will be suitable with the township’s soil and can attract birds. Officials said Roy Chowdhury would be included in the committee to finalise the species of trees that would be planted in New Town. Horticulture experts have already shared their suggestions in this regard, keeping in mind Cyclone Amphan that had damaged thousands of trees. Roy Chowdhury said the trees like banyan, guava, neem, mango and other small fruit trees, which attract birds, should be considered for plantation.

        After Amphan tore through Bengal, damaging a large number of trees, Hidco and NKDA took up a plantation drive on vacant plots. Several trees have already been planted in many parts of the township. The authorities have come up with a list of over 100 varieties of trees for further plantation.













        Kolkata: Bird shelters may become must for upcoming New Town buildings, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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        • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

          Ambuja Neotia and Hiland Group to jointly develop 20 acres of land in Kolkata

          Two residential projects having development potential of 2 million sq ft each will be constructed. Bata India was the landlord of both land parcels. ANAROCK Property Consultants' land division has helped facilitate the deal.
          NEW DELHI: Ambuja Neotia Group and Hiland Group have joined hands to develop 20 acres of land in Kolkata. While the first 10 acres of land is situated along the Golf Course, the other 10 acres of land is near the Calcultta Riverfront.

          Two residential projects having development potential of 2 million sq ft each will be constructed.

          Bata India was the landlord of both land parcels. ANAROCK Property Consultants' land division has helped facilitate the deal of both land parcels, it said in a media release.

          Along the golf course, the two groups will develop 12 residential towers (G+13) comprising of approx. 2,000 units in 2 & 3 BHK configurations. The Riverfront project is currently being planned and further project specifications will be announced soon.










          ANAROCK Property Consultants: Ambuja Neotia and Hiland Group to jointly develop 20 acres of land in Kolkata, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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          • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

            KMC’s floor space incentive for private hospitals offering Swasthya Sathi facility

            Saikat Ray | TNN | Updated: Feb 13, 2021, 11:10 IST


            KOLKATA: City private hospitals now have a civic incentive for extending facilities for Swasthya Sathi patients. From now on, private hospitals and nursing homes will enjoy additional Floor Area Ratio (FAR) or a permission to add 10% floor space to their existing or new structures, provided the space is used to create separate wards or enhance treatment facilities for Swasthya Sathi card holders.

            KMC Board of Administrators (BoA) chairman Firhad Hakim on Friday announced that KMC will offer 10% FAR to the private hospitals or nursing homes for expansion of their existing treatment facilities or for new units that will enjoy this additional “allowable construction space” over and above KMC building rule limits.

            The incentive was announced 12 days after Hakim met representatives of the city’s private hospitals and nursing homes at the KMC headquarters to chalk out a plan for treatment of Swasthya Sathi card holders at the private healthcare centres. Sources said in order to ensure a zero refusal of Swasthya Sathi card holders at private hospitals, new units should come up or existing facilities should get enhanced to accommodate the flux patients. This matter was discussed among a section of senior civic officials before they proposed the KMC BoA that the civic body would need to offer the FAR relief to hospital owners. Over 100 representatives from different private hospitals and nursing homes participated in the meeting with the civic brass as the KMC is the nodal agency for implementation of the scheme in Kolkata.

            The civic body from time to time offers such additional relief to institutes which are engaged in social welfare.

            Private hospitals lauded the move but said it will be beneficial only if rates are revised. “While the move is encouraging, it remains to be seen whether the incentive will be allowed only for additional space dedicated to Swasthya Sathi patients. If that is the case, then most private hospitals may not be enthused at the moment. Rates under the scheme are still too low to make it sustainable for hospitals. Having additional space for Swasthya Sathi patients will involve a huge investment in terms of infrastructure which will not be feasible in the current scenario,” said AMRI Hospital CEO Rupak Barua.

            RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences zonal director R Venkatesh said: “This is a kind gesture of appreciation towards our relentless efforts of providing quality healthcare services irrespective of affluence and affordability.”








            KMC’s floor space incentive for private hospitals offering Swasthya Sathi facility | Kolkata News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
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            • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

              Kolkata civic body to take only e-application for building plan nod from Apr 1

              The system was rolled out in KMC borough VI and VII, covering central and south-east Kolkata, from February 1 and will be extended to entire Kolkata by March 31.
              KOLKATA: KMC will accept only online applications for building sanction plans from April 1. The system was rolled out in KMC borough VI and VII, covering central and south-east Kolkata, from February 1 and will be extended to entire Kolkata by March 31.

              The online shift was supposed to start on April 1, 2020, but the date had to be pushed back due to the pandemic.

              Aimed at offering a single-window, quick solution, the system under Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) scheme has so far received seven applications from south-east Kolkata. A KMC buildings department official said if an applicant submitted valid documents related to the land, the KMC would fetch NOCs from various state government departments within 10 days under the single-window system and issue a sanction by one month.

              Another buildings department official said the online sanction scheme would be opened in phases, borough-wise. The entire city will be brought under the online sanction scheme by March 31, following which no physical application will be entertained.

              “We will gradually roll out the scheme to the entire city, borough-wise. In the first phase, we have opened a single-window clearance for documents for people in central and south-east Kolkata. In the next phase, large areas of north Kolkata will be covered. The third and final phase will cover the entire south Kolkata and added areas, like Behala, Tollygunge Jadavpur and Tollygunge,” he said.

              Earlier, a developer constructing a project of over 15.5 m (51ft) height and built-up area exceeding 550 sqm, (5,400 sqft) had to obtain separate clearances from various departments, like fire services, environment and land (urban land ceiling), before applying to the KMC buildings department.

              This apart, the KMC’s own departments, like that of surveyor or water supply, had a role. Now all that an applicant needs to do is apply online with scanned copies of documents on the nature of the land and its ownership.

              “If no discrepancy is found, we will sanction the plan by a month,” a KMC buildings department official said, adding the civic body had trained licensed building surveyors (LBS) on the submission of documents under the new online scheme.










              Kolkata civic body to take only e-application for building plan nod from Apr 1, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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              • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

                Kolkata civic body to keep treasury counters open till Feb 28 for property tax payers

                This decision was taken on Thursday after several property-tax payers could not pay their dues since the shutters were downed at 4pm.
                • TNN
                • Updated: February 26, 2021, 12:24 IST

                KOLKATA: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation will keep all its treasury counters open till 6pm, extending up to Sunday, to enable property tax payers to clear their dues under a special 100% interest waiver scheme. The last date for application of waiver scheme expires on February 28.

                This decision was taken on Thursday after several property-tax payers could not pay their dues since the shutters were downed at 4pm.

                The applicants for the scheme will also be able to avail the treasury counters at Hatibagan, Tollygunge, Behala or e-Kolkata centres at Lake Mall, Baghajatin and other centres.









                Kolkata civic body to keep treasury counters open till Feb 28 for property tax payers, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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                • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

                  Kolkata civic body mops up Rs 431 crore in property tax waiver scheme since Oct 1

                  The city’s property owners on Saturday made a beeline for the KMC treasury counters to avail of the special waiver scheme and clear their tax dues.
                  KOLKATA: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation on Saturday collected record revenue from the city’s property owners availing the special interest waiver scheme on unpaid property tax. According to a KMC revenue department official, while the civic body had collected Rs 400 crore revenue under the special scheme since October 1 last year, Rs 31 crore was collected on Saturday.

                  The city’s property owners on Saturday made a beeline for the KMC treasury counters to avail of the special waiver scheme and clear their tax dues. The KMC had introduced a 100% interest waiver on unpaid property tax last October. The deadline for payment for the scheme was extended till February 28.

                  As the deadline drove hundreds to queue up in front of the KMC treasury counters across the city, the civic brass on Thursday decided to keep open the counters by extending business hours to 6pm till Sunday. According to sources in the KMC revenue department, the civic body’s treasury counters — including the one located at the headquarters — fetched Rs 31 crore from property tax payers on Saturday.

                  “We were overwhelmed with the response of the property tax payers who didn’t want to miss the opportunity of availing the scheme. We had given a special instruction to officials manning our treasury counters not to refuse any applicant who had queued up to pay their dues,” said a KMC revenue department official. Of the Rs 31 crore collected across the city, Rs 13 crore came from south Kolkata, Rs 11 crore from north Kolkata and rest from the added areas.

                  According to a KMC assessment department senior official, hopes rose after a record collection on Saturday and they expect to collect a similar amount on Sunday also. “We will keep all our treasury counters open till 6pm tomorrow. Senior officials of the assessment department will attend their offices at the headquarters to assist property owners who may come with some kind of difficulties,” the civic official said.

                  According to a KMC official, the revenue collected will be spent on clearing dues of contractors engaged in keeping the city’s essential services intact. However, an assessment department official said the civic body had prepared a list of habitual and big defaulters who have not applied for the interest waiver scheme. “After the deadline expires, we will send notices to these habitual defaulters and, if they fail to respond, we will be forced to take legal action,” the official said.

                  The waiver scheme had first been introduced in 2003 when Subrata Mukherjee was mayor. Then, only 50% waiver had been provided on the interest that had accrued on property tax dues. The scheme was aimed at mopping up revenue for infrastructure development. The scheme had been popular and funds that were raised were utilized in augmenting water supply and modernizing the drainage system. When Sovan Chatterjee took over as mayor in 2010, he, too, introduced the scheme twice. But they did not elicit much response from property owners.











                  Kolkata civic body mops up Rs 431 crore in property tax waiver scheme since Oct 1, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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                  • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

                    Kolkata: Property tax waiver applicants who failed to pay get till March 31

                    The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) set the new deadline only for those who have applied for the waiver scheme but failed to make payments citing several handicaps.
                    KOLKATA: The city’s property tax payers who had applied for a special 100% interest waiver scheme, but could not clear their dues by the February 28 deadline, now have time till March 31. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) set the new deadline only for those who have applied for the waiver scheme but failed to make payments citing several handicaps.

                    “Last week, we decided to extend the deadline for the special scheme to enable a section of applicants who could not make payments for several reasons. But under no circumstances will we invite fresh applications from the defaulters to avail of the special scheme after expiry of deadline,” said Atin Ghosh, a member of the KMC Board of Administrators.

                    However, a KMC revenue department official conceded that the deadline was extended after a mad rush of applicants trying to make payments in the past two days. The civic official said the KMC had mopped up Rs 450 crore from the special waiver scheme till Sunday. In fact, the civic authorities had kept all treasury counters open for the past four days, including Sunday, extending the business hours till 6pm to handle the rush of property tax payers who had applied for the waiver scheme. “Our officials and employees in the assessment and treasury departments have toiled hard to serve the applicants under the special waiver scheme,” said a KMC assessment department official.

                    Now that the last date for application is over, the KMC assessment department officials are planning a special drive against a section of major and habitual defaulters who have not responded to the civic body’s special interest waiver scheme.

                    “We have prepared a preliminary list of major defaulters who have not applied for the waiver scheme and will send notices to clear their dues within a specified time, failing which, we will be compelled to take legal action,” Ghosh said.

                    According to sources in the KMC revenue department, the assessment department inspectors have helped prepare the defaulters’ list from at least five south Kolkata wards. These defaulters owe the civic body over Rs 100 crore. “We have shown enough patience to a section of major defaulters who have, time and again, failed to take advantage of our waiver schemes. Now we need to bring them under a strict legal procedure to realize our dues. We may need to even attach properties of the major defaulters if they fail to clear outstanding property tax” said a senior official of the KMC revenue department.










                    Kolkata: Property tax waiver applicants who failed to pay get till March 31, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)
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                    • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

                      Smart fences to keep tabs on New Town garbage disposal

                      Suman Chakraborti | TNN | Mar 3, 2021, 04:21 IST


                      Kolkata: The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) is planning to set up an Internet-of-Things (IoT)- enabled smart fencing on a 17km stretch on New Town’s main arterial road from Mahisbathan box bridge to Biswa Bangla Gate in Action Area I to track the movement of the vehicles carrying garbage and check whether they are disposing of waste daily.

                      Officials said that currently, there are bamboo-made fences off the main arterial road and median dividers. “The idea is to replace this bamboo fence with steel fencing that will have RFID readers tagged with them. The vehicles carrying garbage will also be tagged with RFID readers as the fencing off the road can detect the vehicles and will send messages to the control room to check whether the vehicles are collecting waste properly,” said an official.

                      The project will, however, not be carried out till the elections are over.

                      The authorities are also planning to introduce a 24-hour monitoring system for 50 dustbins of 240-liter capacity each, installed on the main arterial road in New Town. The waste bins will have level sensing to send alert once they are full.


                      NKDA officials on Monday visited the Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET) Haldia to discuss several issues like testing compostable plastic bags and strength of plastic paver blocks before they start a pilot project to make the markets plastic-free across the township.

                      NKDA officials have placed a few samples of compostable plastic bags to CIPET for tests. “We have sought feedback from them whether better compostable plastic bags and plastic paver blocks are available. We were waiting for this expert opinion and now we will update the project report, based on which the work will start,” said an official.







                      Smart fences to keep tabs on New Town garbage disposal | Kolkata News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)


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