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Latest News In and around Kolkata

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  • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

    In two months, Bidhannagar civic body mops up 10% of property tax target of Rs 50 crore


    Clipped from: https://realty.economictimes.indiati...crore/92071699


    While most residents of Salt Lake pay their property tax bills online, the municipal corporation has been conducting camps across its wards in Rajarhat and Gopalpur areas every Saturday, pushing up the collection amounts.

    KOLKATA: The Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation has already collected about 10% of its annual tax and mutation fee target of Rs 50 crore within the first two months of the new financial year.

    While most residents of Salt Lake pay their property tax bills online, the municipal corporation has been conducting camps across its wards in Rajarhat and Gopalpur areas every Saturday, pushing up the collection amounts.

    “We have set a target of Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore from property tax and mutation fee from BMC area. So far this financial year, we have collected about Rs 5 crore. This has been possible due to our tax collection drive. The camps in Rajarhat-Gopalpur area are eliciting encouraging response from people there,” said a BMC tax and assessment department official.

    According to officials, the civic body has been collecting an average of Rs 4.5 lakh in property tax and mutation fee from each of the weekly tax camp. “The camps have been held at BMC wards 2, 10, 17 18, 19, 23 and 24. They will be held in other wards as well, covering the entire BMC jurisdiction in the Rajarhat-Gopalpur area,” said an official. “Rajarhat-Gopalpur residents’ queries are being addressed at the camps. They are getting their tax bills generated and paying the amounts by cash, debit card, credit card, cheque or demand draft.”

    For Salt Lake households, the civic authorities are sending property tax bills for all the four quarters of 2022-23 in new tax rates, albeit based on the old valuation. “Due to a legal tangle over the tax structure of Salt Lake, BMC collected tax from owners there according to the old valuation. But that came to a rather low amount, which compared to the rising cost and civic services. The latest court order allows the civic body to collect property tax at new rates, based on the old valuation,” said a civic official.

    The next plan for the civic authorities is to introduce e-mutation facilities. “We are introducing online mutation process and the offline system will be phased out. Mutation camps, similar to tax camps, will be held, where people will be assisted by our officers to go through online mutation process,” said an official.
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    • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

      Kolkata: Mall, auditorium in riverfront makeover plan

      Debashish Konar / TNN / Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 10:27 IST


      Three plots along the Hooghly have been identified for the project.

      KOLKATA: The city’s riverfront is set for a major makeover with Kolkata Port authorities revealing a development blueprint that proposes to transform prime real estate around the Armenian Ghat jetty, that has been lying waste for decades, into a happening zone with hotel, banquet hall, shopping mall and offices.

      There are also plans to set up an auditorium/sports complex and multi-car parking plaza at an adjoining plot of land. The Armenian Ghat jetty will also be restored and refurbished for people to take a cruise or ferry across the river.

      “We are looking at a public-private partnership to develop three parcels of land along the river Hooghly. Tenders will be floated for development proposals. The bidders will be required to submit detailed project reports, marketing strategies, tie-ups and business plan for revenue generation from the plot. The idea is to develop it as an entertainment hub. Lease will be given for a period of 30 years,” an official told TOI.

      The three plots comprise a 4,490 sqm vacant land between Strand Road and Strand Bank Road that housed the Strand Warehouse till it was burnt down in a devastating inferno several years ago, a 4,390 sqm plot adjoining the river that has the Armenian Ghat shed, and a 4,670 sqm plot with a section burnt down that houses the jetty shed.

      The three sites, next to each other, is near the Howrah Bridge and adjacent to the Circular Railway line. With the Howrah Station complex located across the river, Port authorities feel this development around Armenian Ghat could become a shopping and leisure destination, attracting tourists and travellers.

      “There are many tourists who arrive at Howrah Station and then wait for several hours to board a train later in the day. With the development just across the river and accessible by ferry, they can cross over in 10 minutes, shop, eat and enjoy the vista,” said another official.

      With BBD Bag — a prime business area — where every corporate house wants to be present but is not able to due to lack of modern infrastructure, the office complex that is proposed will be a boon for many companies to check in.

      Apart from the riverbank development, the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways is also planning to promote river cruise in the Hooghly as part of the Maritime India Vision 2030.

      The Armenian jetty will be key to promotion of heritage tours to Belur Math, Dakshineswar and Chandernagore to the north and Falta, Diamond Harbour, Raichak or Garchumuk to the south.








      Mall, Auditorium In Riverfront Makeover Plan | Kolkata News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
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      • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

        No fee or Kolkata civic body permission needed for paint, repair job: Mayor

        Read more at:
        https://realty.economictimes.indiati...mayor/92158541


        Hakim on Saturday told TOI that if anyone encountered harassment or were asked to pay money to carry out repairs of their houses, either internal or external, they could contact him.

        KOLKATA: People undertaking repairs or painting of their houses or flats were not required to seek any permission from Kolkata Municipal Corporation or make payment to anyone, said KMC mayor Firhad Hakim on Saturday, in the wake of complaints of harassment from property owners.

        After an interactive session with citizens, Hakim on Saturday told TOI that if anyone encountered harassment or were asked to pay money to carry out repairs of their houses, either internal or external, they could contact him. “There is no need to seek KMC buildings department permission to carry out minor repairs or painting,” Hakim reiterated.

        According to the complaints, youths hanging around local councillors often land up at the doorstep of residents and claim that KMC permission is required to set up a scaffolding for repairs. Also, some cops allegedly demand KMC authorization from labourers. There have allegedly been several instances of labourers being detained for “failing to produce a letter of permission”.

        “Unless there is any addition or alteration of exterior of a house that deviates from the sanctioned plan, there is no requirement to make any payment to anyone or make any formal application to KMC,” a KMC buildings department official said.

        Acknowledging that there have been several instances of citizens approaching KMC for formal permission to carry out repairs or paint a building, the official alleged some unscrupulous cops extorted money by claiming carrying out paint jobs or repairs without sanction could invite punitive action. “Instead of helping people, some councillors pressure citizens to pay up or they threaten to shut down the repairs,” said the buildings department official.
        According to a KMC official, most cases of harassment were noticed when owners undertook repairs of the exterior of their houses or repair the stairs and lift shafts.

        “Sometimes repair of a damaged roof also attracts the attention of some cops and local councillors’ associates, who then start harassing the owners for permission papers, which are not required. As the owner fails to show such papers, he/she is forced to pay up,” the official said.

        In such cases, the owners sometimes strike a deal or approach the executive engineer in the borough. According to a civic executive engineer, in such cases, they give the harassed owners a document, mentioning the civic body’s guidelines.
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        • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

          No fee or Kolkata civic body permission needed for paint, repair job: Mayor

          Read more at:
          https://realty.economictimes.indiati...mayor/92158541


          Hakim on Saturday told TOI that if anyone encountered harassment or were asked to pay money to carry out repairs of their houses, either internal or external, they could contact him.

          KOLKATA: People undertaking repairs or painting of their houses or flats were not required to seek any permission from Kolkata Municipal Corporation or make payment to anyone, said KMC mayor Firhad Hakim on Saturday, in the wake of complaints of harassment from property owners.

          After an interactive session with citizens, Hakim on Saturday told TOI that if anyone encountered harassment or were asked to pay money to carry out repairs of their houses, either internal or external, they could contact him. “There is no need to seek KMC buildings department permission to carry out minor repairs or painting,” Hakim reiterated.

          According to the complaints, youths hanging around local councillors often land up at the doorstep of residents and claim that KMC permission is required to set up a scaffolding for repairs. Also, some cops allegedly demand KMC authorization from labourers. There have allegedly been several instances of labourers being detained for “failing to produce a letter of permission”.

          “Unless there is any addition or alteration of exterior of a house that deviates from the sanctioned plan, there is no requirement to make any payment to anyone or make any formal application to KMC,” a KMC buildings department official said.

          Acknowledging that there have been several instances of citizens approaching KMC for formal permission to carry out repairs or paint a building, the official alleged some unscrupulous cops extorted money by claiming carrying out paint jobs or repairs without sanction could invite punitive action. “Instead of helping people, some councillors pressure citizens to pay up or they threaten to shut down the repairs,” said the buildings department official.
          According to a KMC official, most cases of harassment were noticed when owners undertook repairs of the exterior of their houses or repair the stairs and lift shafts.

          “Sometimes repair of a damaged roof also attracts the attention of some cops and local councillors’ associates, who then start harassing the owners for permission papers, which are not required. As the owner fails to show such papers, he/she is forced to pay up,” the official said.

          In such cases, the owners sometimes strike a deal or approach the executive engineer in the borough. According to a civic executive engineer, in such cases, they give the harassed owners a document, mentioning the civic body’s guidelines.
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          • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

            Kolkata: FAR hope for Bowbazar buildings

            Saikat Ray / TNN / Updated: Jun 12, 2022, 09:56 IST

            KOLKATA: Hopes have brightened for construction of multi-storey buildings at Durga Pithuri Lane after demolishing houses which have become structurally unsafe following subsidence at the East-West Metro construction site. Mayor Firhad Hakim on Saturday said efforts were on to offer extra floor area ratio (FAR) at the time of reconstruction to those residents of Durga Pithuri Lane whose houses would need to be demolished.

            A JU team of experts are in favour of demolishing at least 10 buildings in very vulnerable condition. Hakim says, the civic brass will need to amend the KMC buildings department rules to offer special FAR at Durga Pithuri Lane.

            “We will talk to the residents. If they are willing we may need to construct multi-storey buildings to accommodate them at Durga Pithuri Lane,” said the mayor.

            “We need to wait till the soil is settled after introduction of the East-West Metro services. We will then start reconstruction of those buildings that will be demolished,” said a KMC buildings department senior official.








            durga pithuri lane: Far Hope For Bowbazar Buildings | Kolkata News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
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            • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

              Soon, NFT-coded property papers in Kolkata's New Town

              Suman Chakraborti / TNN / Updated: Jun 15, 2022, 07:11 IST


              Representative image

              KOLKATA: After using blockchain technology for issuing birth certificates, the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) is planning to use non-fungible tokens (NFT) or cryptographic assets on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata to issue property registration certificates and maintain land records in New Town.

              "Once any document is embedded with NFT, the document becomes completely tamper-proof and nobody can fudge the document. Take for instance a painting by an artist. If it is digitally copied, the value of the original painting reduces. But once embedded with NFT, the painting gets digitally copyrighted. This way, the document or image becomes exclusive to its owner and nobody is able to fudge it or make a copy," explained Kalyan Kar, an IT expert and startup enthusiast, who is also the vice-president of Sector V Stakeholders' Association.

              The NKDA's aim is to make land documents tamper-proof to eradicate illegal and fake sales. "When land documents are issued from a normal database there are chances of these getting manipulated. But once the database is embedded in blockchain, it becomes tamper-proof. The landowner will have a digital token, which will act as a proof of ownership," an NKDA official said.
              As per plans, the land properties will be identified by a unique NFT hash code. In case of transfer of a property, the NFT code will be tagged with the deed information for data validation.
              ‘NFT will make land deals faster’

              The New Town Kolkata Development Authority is planning to use non-fungible tokens (NFT) to issue property registration certificates and maintain land records in New Town.

              Deepak Daftari, an IT expert on brand and domain consulting, said the lack of digitization in the land registry process makes it cumbersome to access information and trace ownership details.
              But once it is blockchain-enabled, the land registry platform can offer a database where anyone can access, cross check and verify any land record and access information without the involvement of a third party.

              “With NFT, one can create a digital, decentralized ID as a seller and buyer. This will enable a seamless ownership transfer that is quicker than the traditional method. As soon as the registrar confirms the transfer of a land title, a smart contract triggers to update ownership for a new buyer and transaction corresponding to it gets stored on the blockchain. This way one can also check the historical records of all transactions on any land title deed, at any given time,” Daftari explained.

              The NKDA has floated an expression of interest to invite agencies for design and development of the NFT-based record of title (mutation) by NKDA.








              Soon, NFT-coded property papers in Kolkata's New Town | Kolkata News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
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              • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

                Kolkata civic body starts drive to raze 50 dilapidated buildings

                Read more at:
                https://realty.economictimes.indiati...dings/92259765




                The KMC buildings department will need to exercise special power to raze these buildings that pose a threat to those who live in them as well as pedestrians who pass by.

                KOLKATA: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has launched a city-wide drive to demolish dilapidated and insecure buildings ahead of the monsoon. The KMC buildings department will need to exercise special power to raze these buildings that pose a threat to those who live in them as well as pedestrians who pass by.

                A KMC buildings department official said they will take help of an express order — which the municipal commissioner is entrusted to issue under section 411 (4) of the KMC buildings rule — that empowers the civic body to demolish any insecure parts of a dilapidated building that is beyond the scope of repair.

                A survey has already been conducted to identify those buildings that are in a precarious condition and are at risk of collapsing during heavy rains.

                “We have identified around 150 buildings that pose a threat to residents and pedestrians. Of these buildings, we are keeping a vigil on over 50 buildings, parts of which need to be razed immediately,” the building department official said.

                The highly dilapidated buildings are located in Borough I to IX. But the largest concentration of such houses are located in Cossipore, Burtolla, Burrabazar, Rabindra Sarani, Pathuriaghata, Beadon Street, Chittaranjan Avenue, College Street, Amherst Street, Ripon Street, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, Park Circus, Topsia and Ballygunge.

                “We have to vacate several dilapidated houses in the danger zones. Or else, accidents may happen during the monsoon,” said the official.
                Last year, more than 30 unsafe buildings had collapsed. Both residents and pedestrians had died in those incidents. “Monsoon is about to set in and we are worried about the fate of these buildings. We hope to prevent casualties this year,” a civic official added.

                The KMC buildings department is also offering a scope to owners of such buildings to reconstruct them after demolition.

                According to a KMC buildings department senior official, under section 412 (A), the civic body would offer extra Floor Area Ratio (FAR) to the owners of the dilapidated buildings to enable him/her to accommodate the existing tenants.

                “We will appeal to the owners of the dilapidated buildings to accept the unique scheme so that the tenants are saved from the continuous threat of an imminent collapse,” the civic official said.
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                • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

                  Rally-choked citizens demand right of way in Kolkata

                  TNN / Jun 17, 2022, 12:08 IST


                  Rallies need to be regulated in the Kolkata

                  KOLKATA: Rallies need to be regulated in the city. This is especially true for the College Street-SN Banerjee-Lenin Sarani Esplanade stretch, which witnesses multiple rallies and demonstrations throughout the year.

                  Though the num- ber was much restricted during the Covid peaks, it has started picking up again. I have kind of grown used to these roadblocks over the past three decades I have been living on S N Banerjee Road, but on certain days, one does not feel like walking the entire stretch from either Esplanade or Moulali to reach home. Once the traffic is disrupted, it can take as long as an hour to normalize.

                  Times View

                  The court's observations reflect the view of millions of citizens who have had the misfortune of being held up on the road because of some "protest rally" or the other. The situation in the Esplanade-Central Avenue-Rani Rashmani Avenue-S.N. Banerjee Road belt is particularly bad during the protest season, which is almost all the year. Protesters have a right to protest but that should happen without infringing on the right of way of motorists and pedestrians.


                  But it is not just the traffic chaos. The noise pollution is equally unsettling. The court’s observations are keeping the common man, like us, in mind. I am not against one’s right to demonstrate.
                  But that cannot always infringe on our right to movement. Political parties can perhaps come together and take a decision to avoid routes or spots where the masses get stuck. No one likes being stuck on the road and I hope every protester will respect that. The idea of earmarking protest zones through political consensus will take care of the right to protest and right to movement at the same time.











                  Rally-choked citizens demand right of way in Kolkata | Kolkata News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
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                  • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

                    RWAs, New Town Kolkata development body to form panel to address civic complaints

                    Read more at:
                    https://realty.economictimes.indiati...aints/92326772




                    "The committee may meet once a fortnight through video conference where local civic issues and grievances can be heard and addressed,” said NKDA chairman Debashis Sen.

                    KOLKATA: The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) plans to form an apex committee comprising representatives of residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) and registered housing societies across New Town along with officials of NKDA to address civic issues.

                    “The committee will have representations from all RWAs and registered housing societies in New Town, and a chief engineer and others from NKDA. The committee may meet once a fortnight through video conference where local civic issues and grievances can be heard and addressed,” said NKDA chairman Debashis Sen.

                    Samaresh Das, chairman of New Town Forum and News (NTFN), an umbrella organisation of resident forums in New Town, said the idea was mooted before Sen and other officials on Saturday. Das said they often receive complaints about different local civic issues, but there was no common platform for the NKDA to address them. “Having such a committee will immensely help,” Das said.

                    Some common issues that residents bring up include haphazard dumping of construction materials, pavement encroachment, illegal parking, garbage dumped on the streets and vacant plots.

                    “Till now, there is no common platform where residents can bring up these issues before the NKDA on a regular basis. Having such a committee will be very useful,” said Partha Majumder, a resident of a housing complex in Action Area II.

                    NKDA officials said there is already a 24-hour helpline which is strictly monitored. “We regularly review any civic issue or public grievance received through the helpline,” an official said.
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                    • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

                      Kolkata: Golf Gardens hopes it doesn't pour till July 5, awaits new pumping station

                      Saikat Ray / TNN / Updated: Jun 23, 2022, 05:33 IST


                      Construction underway for the drainage pumping station

                      KOLKATA: Residents of Golf Gardens and Golf Green are praying it doesn't rain too much over the next couple of weeks. With a delayed civic drainage project set to be completed by July 5, locals are hoping heavy showers are stalled till then so that the project is finally rolled out without further delay.

                      The Kolkata Municipal Corporation drainage department has been struggling to complete construction of the drainage pumping station at Golf Club Road that was planned to take care of the waterlogging woes in large parts of Golf Gardens and Golf Green. Though the station was inaugurated in February last year, the pumps installed at that time were not fit to flush out storm water. Instead, they were meant to flush out water during dry weather.

                      According to a KMC official, the firm engaged in the construction had sought more time after missing the June 20 deadline. "Hopefully, we will be able to make it functional by July 5. Once the pumps start operating, residents in several Golf Garden and Golf Green neighbourhoods will be spared severe waterlogging," the official said.

                      A KMC source said the construction firm was now engaged in installing heavy duty pumps that will be operated without a break during a heavy downpour till the storm water recedes from Golf Green and Golf Garden neighbourhoods. KMC will also need to supervise laying of drainage pumps on a stretch of road close to Tollygunge Club. "We have asked the construction firm to wind up the last phase of work, which includes installation of pumps and laying of pipes in a short stretch of road, on a war footing. We need to operate the pumping station latest by July 5," the official said.

                      Residents of Golf Green and Golf Gardens are relying on the completion of the drainage pumping station as these areas go under water every monsoon. Mihir Goswami, a retired government employee from Golf Gardens said he was keeping his fingers crossed this year. "Our neighbourhood gets inundated every time it rains heavily. Last year, I couldn't go out of my housing complex on three occasions as the road outside resembled a river," said Goswami.

                      Bidipta Roy, a resident of Golf Green who works for a private firm, expressed hope that the new drainage pumping station will be able to resolve the waterlogging crisis. "Monsoon is here and I have started panicking. The reason for my apprehension is a poor drainage network in the Golf Green area. My fear is that I may miss office if a downpour inundates my neighbourhood," said Roy.







                      Kolkata: Golf Gardens hopes it doesn't pour till July 5, awaits new pumping station | Kolkata News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
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