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Latest News In and around Kolkata

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  • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

    Dakshineswar Metro by June ’19 if land available: Rlys

    TNN | Aug 3, 2017, 06:00 AM IST

    Kolkata: The state government on Wednesday asked the Kamarhati Municipality to expedite the rehabilitation of 202 families blocking the construction of a 350m stretch along the Noapara-Dakshineswar Metro alignment. A pet project of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who had proposed the extension during her stint as union railways minister, the alignment has been lingering since last seven years due to encroachments.

    The state government assured the municipality will relocate the encroachers by September 30. But, the Metro officials visiting the site felt the progress was slow. "If the encroachers are moved on time, we can complete the project by June, 2019," said Indrani Banerjee, CPRO, Metro Railway.

    TOI, after visiting the site, also found that the progress was slow indeed. Only 60% of the low-lying land was filled up. Given the current progress rate, complete rehabilitation isn't possible before the next year. Metro Railway general manager Vishwesh Chaubey asked Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd, the project's executing agency, to expedite work where land is available. The latter built 13 piers in record time after the Baranagar Municipality encroachers were rehabilitated.

    Municipality chairman Gopal Saha said, "Now that there is respite from the incessant rain, ground levelling and building huts for the families will be taken up on a war footing. We hope to complete the work in promised time."







    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/59888616.cms

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    • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

      West Bengal: New act to clean up real estate business

      Subhro Niyogi| TNN | Updated: Aug 4, 2017, 07:04 AM IST


      KOLKATA: If you're looking to buy a flat, hang on for a month. With the state government set to implement the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, by introducing the West Bengal Housing Industries Regulation Bill, 2017, in the Assembly during the Monsoon Session, several projects that do not comply with the regulations will either be stalled or delayed.

      Some para promoters and unscrupulous developers may even go out of business as the law kicks in to clean up the murky real estate business. Premium projects, where sales are slow, will take a back seat. Price of budget and mid-segment flats may go up by Rs 100 - Rs 150 per sq ft as developers factor in the cost of compliance to the new act.

      Speaking to TOI, Nandu Belani, president of the Bengal chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai), said the introduction of the act will in the short run slow down and even stall projects that do not have Rera compliance.

      "Expect fewer project launches as developers work towards compliance and register the projects. While the established firms have been working on compliance for six months and will not have a problem making a transition into the new regime, it will be difficult for others," he said.

      There is some anxiety over what happens to existing projects. While the national act says all projects to be registered, Credai has been urging the housing department to keep projects that have either completed 40% project construction or sales be kept out of its purview as a shift in compliance from the West Bengal Building (Regulation of Promotion of Construction and Transfer by Promoters) Act, 1993, to the West Bengal Housing Industries Regulation Bill, 2017, will be complicated. After the initial hiccup that could see projects being held up, the act will ensure that developers adhere to delivery schedules and stick by their commitments.

      In the past, there have been several cases where an open space the size of the Eden Gardens has been promised before the project but a small patch of green was delivered.

      There have also been instances where a developer has constructed a fifth tower after completing the four that were advertised in the project.

      "Many projects get delayed due to financial issues or the developers' lack of competence in handling big projects. That will stop now because the stringent penalty for delays will be a deterrent. In fact, developers will factor in possible delays to set a realistic timeline when announcing the project," said Sushil Mohta, vice-president of Credai-National.

      Mohta believes it will also do a world of good to the developers, where a few rotten apples have brought disrepute to the sector."We welcome the shift to transparency. This will usher in discipline among developers and create goodwill among buyers," he said. For developers, the requirement to keep 70% of the project cost in an escrow account to which he will have access according to the project's progress will require him to make arrangements for additional funds. Till now, developers have been using advances garnered from one project to purchase another land. That will no longer be possible.

      "Developers will henceforth plan their projects better. Hurried launches won't happen. For home buyers, there will be peace of mind that there will be timely delivery of a good product. If he has any grievance, he will be able to approach a regulator," said Belani.










      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...=show&from=mdr

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      • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

        Kolkata: East-West Metro gap to be bridged by September end

        TNN | Aug 5, 2017, 07:26 AM IST


        KOLKATA: The elevated stretch of the East-West Metro is gradually inching towards completion. On Thursday night, the construction of the most crucial casting deck slab of both spans across EM Bypass adjacent Bengal Chemical station at Duttabad was completed. The 365m gap in the elevated stretch — between Bengal Chemicals and City Centre — is likely to be bridged latest by the end of September.

        Duttabad remained the biggest stumbling block for the elevated corridor. The gap on the stretch persisted due to encroachment by slumdwellers on 115, Duttabad Road, who had been agitating with the demand for relocation. KMRC, the executing agency, spent Rs 8 crore on a residential complex where 80 of these families were rehabilitated.

        The road blockades on that stretch of EM Bypass have partially been lifted. For the construction, a part of south-bound flank of the road was blocked by KMRC. This will allow the south-bound traffic to move with ease during the pujas and Fifa U-17 World Cup.

        "The removal of the blockade will ease the south-bound traffic that increases manifold during evening peak hours," said a traffic sergeant.

        "However, it would take a few more days to clear the entire road by removing the scaffolding and supports of the viaduct on six of the 13 piers," said a KMRC official.









        http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/59921627.cms


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        • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

          Metro sets June 2018 date for New Garia-Ruby line

          TNN | Aug 8, 2017, 06:35 AM IST

          KOLKATA: The New GariaAirport Metro corridor, which has come a long way by crossing multiple hurdles, is poised to start operations on the 5km stretch — between Kavi Subhas and Ruby Hospital — by June 2018. With Metro general manager Vishwesh Chaubey closely monitoring the progress of the project, the latest problem, where 11 shopowners have encroached upon vested land near Baghajatin rail bridge, is likely to resolved within a week.

          "The project has been progressing quite well. Majority of the hurdles have been crossed. In case of any new hurdle, general manager Vishwesh Chaubey will personally take steps to solve them," said Metro Railway chief public relations officer Indrani Banerjee. A Metro assessment shows the project, which is being carried out executing agency Rail Vikash Nigam Limited (RVNL), is progressing on war-footing. The alignment, which will be moving through the city's newest healthcare district, is expected to take away the load off the road and provi de faster means of transportation to and from the airport.

          The project has, however, suffered many stumbling blocks in the past. Its terminal station at New Garia was uncertain after local squatters chased away pro ject engineers and staged an agitation. Finally, the state government intervened and mayor Sovon Chatterjee made it clear to the squatters that they have to move out.The move cleared a very crucial hurdle, blocking the completion of the stretch.











          http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/59963674.cms
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          • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

            Link to decode ownership history of Nizam palace in Kolkata missing

            The three-storey heritage building in Kolkata has an almost eight-decade old bond with Hyderabad -a bond that was formed during the British regime and still remains to be exploredSarthak Ganguly | TNN | August 08, 2017, 18:00 IST

            HYDERABAD: Standing tall with its five crowning domes at the crossing of Kolkata's Camac Street and AJC Bose Road, Nizam Palace is steeped in history without the legacy of the Nizam of Hyderabad.

            The three-storey heritage building in Kolkata has an almost eight-decade old bond with Hyderabad -a bond that was formed during the British regime and still remains to be explored.

            However, mystery shrouds Nizam's ownership of the palace that belongs to the government of India.

            Lack of sufficient documents has triggered a debate on why the Nizam had extended his property in Kolkata, which is 1,489.7 km from Hyderabad. Researchers and heritage conservationists, too, are clueless.

            The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) had declared the building a heritage structure. It had describing it as “a unique example of the architectural styles developed in the bygone era in Calcutta, apart from its historical value in association with Nizam“.

            Authorities in Hyderabad and Kolkata are equally in the dark about the detailed history of the palace because of which the exact age of the building could not be ascertained. Going by the inventory of heritage buildings prepared by heritage committee of KMC, the building was established by the Nizam of Hyderabad. But the column, `His tory of construction' has been left blank.

            Subrata Kumar Sil, director general, project management unit of heritage conservation, KMC, said, “Documents with us reveal that the building was erected for the rest and recreation of the Nizam of Hyderabad. But neither the Nizam's name nor year of the building's construction has been mentioned.“

            In Kolkata, there was no landmark at this spot in the name of Nizam in the pre-Independence era. Max Gal staun, an Armenian descendant, claims that the palace was the residence of Johannes Carapiet Galstaun, an Armenian millionaire who had built it for his wife and named it `Galstaun Park'. He said the palace went to Nizam over a game of card.

            J C Galstaun, who visited Calcutta from Iran, died in 1948, the year the Nizam of Hyderabad had deposed.

            Calcutta Municipal Gazette, issued in the same year and taken as official government document, mentioned that J C Galstaun had sold off the palace in 1933 to the Nizam VII, Mir Osman Ali Khan. He had rechristened it as Saba Palace, according to the gazette.

            However, this leaves enough room to ponder why the Nizam had bought a mansion in Kolkata when it was no longer the capital of erstwhile British India. Unfortunately, while heritage conservationists have upheld the legacy of Galstaun, little is known about Nizam's ownership of the mansion that is sinking into oblivion.









            http://realty.economictimes.indiatim...ssing/59969213

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            • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

              40 days, 12 building collapses and 2 deaths: Crashes peak in 5 years

              Saikat Ray| TNN | Aug 11, 2017, 05:22 AM IST

              KOLKATA: As many as 12 building collapses in 40 days have kept the KMC on tenterhooks.Going by the KMC building department records, the number of collapses this year has surpassed records since 2013.

              According to an estimate, from July 1to August 9, the department had to requisition the civic demolition squad to pull down dangerously hanging potions of 12 buildings across the city. The sudden collapse of a century-old building on 10 Indian Mirror Street claimed two lives. Those living in other dilapidated buildings, parts of which fell off, were lucky to escape the jaws of death.
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              Record July rains had much to do with the spate of building collapses, said Debasish Chakraborty , additional director-general of KMC (buildings). "This year we witnessed the highest rainfall in July . The non-stop, torrential rains led to the collapse of a number of rickety buildings," he said. According to Chakraborty , owners of most of the dilapidated buildings were served notice asking them to undertake repairs for the safety of the residents but all requests fell on deaf ears. "The result has been obvious," he pointed out.

              According to Debasish Ghosh, a structural engineer in the KMC, the reason behind the collapse of a large number of unsafe buildings lay in the fact that most of these structures were a centuryold and made of lime and mortar. "When water seeps into the structure after rainfall or incessant drizzles followed by a sunny morning, the lime used as the cementing agent weakens, leading to a collapse," Ghosh said.

              After analyzing the nature of building collapses this year, the KMC building department engineers have concluded majority of the structures were made of lime and mortar. With the monsoon still ac tive in the region, a section of the officials are keeping their fingers crossed. "We have reasons to worry about the future of residents of at least 50 highly dilapidated buildings, mainly in north and central Kolkata. We need to evacuate residents from some of these buildings to prevent bigger accidents," said a senior official. Going by a KMC list, most of the highly unsafe buildings are in areas like Burrabazar, Chitpore, Pathuriaghata Street, Beadon Street, College Street, M G Road, Lenin Sarani and Elliot Road among others.

              Homemaker Sunita Kumar of Burtolla Street has been a resident of an unsafe building since late 1980s. She has seen the collapse of a building next door in 2015. However, she chose to stay on as she lacked means to move to a rented house in the area. However, the recent spate of building collapses has brought a desperation in her. "Now I have told my husband to move anywhere as I feel no longer safe," Kumar said. According to a KMC official in charge of buildings located in the `insecure zone', the time was ripe for owners and tenants to realize the urgency to move out of the dilapidated buildings.






              http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/60012812.cms



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              • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

                Kolkata Metro boring machine enters heritage zone

                Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay| TNN | Aug 14, 2017, 07:16 AM IST File photo


                KOLKATA: The Metro tunnel boring machine (TBM) on Sunday evening passed underneath the heritage zone of Magen David Synagogue and in another three days, it will pass through the vicinity of the Beth-El Synagogue. The delay in permission for the machine to traverse this zone comprising two nationally protected monuments had held the project in limbo.

                The ancient monument protection act (AMASR Act) had disallowed Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), the executing agency of the East-West Metro corridor, to construct the underground tunnel below Brabourne Road after crossing the river. Eventually, Calcutta HC rescued the project, forcing the Centre to grant permission for the tunnel to pass through the protected zones of three monuments -Magen David and Beth-El synagogues and Currency Building. So far, there has been no impact on the structural stability of Magen David Synagogue, the only synagogue in the world with a tall spire. "The TBM is moving with great caution so as to eliminate possibility of even the least settlement of soil that may harm the structure. We are also monitoring live feed on the structural distress, if any," said an official of Afcons, the tunnel construction agency.

                KMRC had been in search of the structural plans of the two synagogues so as to take mitigation measures against the vibration of the TBM. But the plans could not be found. A trench has now been dug on the synagogue premises so that the foundation can be reinforced with chemicals. The second TBM is now very close to another heritage structure, the Armenian Church -the oldest surviving church in the city. "We are not running two TBMs side by side to avoid generating a collective vibration that could be harmful for such old structures," a source said.

                For the past week, Afcons engineers were engaged in installing sophisticated meters on these two structures to monitor vital structural parameters round-the-clock. The monitoring will continue even after the TBM passes this stretch to check out the settlement level.Remedial measures will be adopted if any structural distress is found, said an engineer. "This being the most congested part of the city, we have to be extra cautious so as to not damage any life or property. This is why we put the residents of unsafe buildings in hotels during the passage of the TBM. We have taken all possible measures to go past the heritage buildings without causing damage to the structures. The third nationally protected monument the TBM encounter will be at the Mahakaran station site, which falls within 85m of the Currency Building. Besides these, the TBM will also go past heritage structures like St Andrew's church, Writers Buildings, Raj Bhawan, Great Eastern Hotel and Chowringhee Mansion," said a source.








                http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/60051793.cms

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                • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata


                  Kolkata among cities where prices went down

                  According to the NBH Residex, that covered the price change between October-December (December quarter of the third quarter of the financial year 2016-17 or Q3'17) and January-March (Q4'17), average rates of property in Kolkata fell seven per cent – from Rs 6,098 per sqft to Rs 5,672 per sqft – on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

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                  • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

                    No place for pedestrians in the city of noise

                    TNN | Aug 14, 2017, 11:30 AM IST

                    The lane is barely wide for two cars to pass each other. In a resi dential locality, it is one of many lanes that connect two bigger arterial roads. The buildings hang over the lane in suffocating closeness. It is a winding lane with none or negligible footpaths.Where there is such facility, it has been taken over by cars parked precariously tilted with two wheels on it and two lower down on the pavement. Hawkers with their offerings displayed on portable furniture. Garbage strewn, if you care to see, as a post-truth art installation. Storage space for a dealer of bottled water, his wares carefully piled in their shiny plastic transparency, blue dominating subliminally, as if intentionally posed for enthusiastic DSLRs documenting images of the city. Dog shit, cow dung. Filthy water flowing out of a bro ken drain pipe. Tarpaulins, polythene sheets, bamboo poles make sudden covers for building materials, or the area councillor's temporary help desk for Aadhaar card registration. No place for pedestrians.And the noise. The visual noise of a heavily populated city where everyone is looking out for Number One is fasci nating and depressing in equal measure. The noise of motor engines straining to race through this lane to escape from one end to the other. And when they cannot, they blow their horns. Honking at people walking on the space not meant for them because their space has been annexed. This is an irritable honking. Short, hard, staccato blasts.The horns make space for their carriers to move a few feet ahead. And they are blocked again by a cycle van ferrying goods to local shops. A handcart, its long bamboo frame suspended on two rejected car wheels, with shouted warnings, attempts weaving through pedestrians, cars, dogs, hawkers, cycles, shop displays subtly insinuating on to road space. Motorbikes with 100cc engines tuned to make that jarring, growling noise try to roar past the cars.The car driver comes to the fatalistic realisation that this short cut he wanted to take from the main road has turned out to be a long bother. So he blows his horn again. Frantically. The shorter blasts get louder and extended, the curses spilling from his mouth harmonise with his horn blowing. And then every car blows its horn. The cycles frenetically ring their bells. The cycle rickshaw parps out astonishingly sharp and loud blasts from a ll plastic device on its handle bars. small plastic device on its handle bars.The motorbike has an electric horn to wake the dead and he employs it with a vengeful ferocity. A crow perched atop my window shutter caws at the scene below. It all comes together as one, loud, discordant, nerve-jangling, ear-shattering cacophony as I sit at my window.

                    And then there's no noise. No motor noises at least. The sudden quiet is not really a silence. It's more like a lull before the storm, the storms that are raged by motorists throughout the day as they use this lane to get from one place to another.As they try to outmanoeuvre whatever gets in their way , with their threatening horn blasts and the bully factor of their bulky metal vehicles. And the silence that is not is suddenly punctuated by the electronic beat and rhythms of a popular Punjabi-Hindi bass-n-drum dance song amplified on a cheap boombox at full volume from the hole-in-the-wall electric shop manned by three adolescent men.There are moments of silence. Usually late at night, in the hours thieves roam the shadows.

                    The West Bengal Pollution Control Board is a misnomer. It does nothing to control the overall noise pollution in the city . It compartmentalises controls sparingly , all of which are blatantly flouted: Sound limiters for amplified loudspeakers, silence zones for hospitals, courts and education institutions, notifies noise limits for fossil fuel generator sets, and provides us with much useless verbiage.In their own words, "the Board has brought into notice some important messages that are of interest to the general public". The important messages consist of "avoid honking", "shun use of loudspeakers", "follow the legal ban" and "maintain tranquillity". One could use a Latin abbreviation after that -[sic].They have published findings over three years in the early part of this decade after comparing noise levels of a normal day and Kali Puja day . The average difference in noise levels between those two days is just about 5% on the high side. That should tell us something, shouldn't it?
                    We are a noisy people. Noise seems to fill gaps in our psyche, tells us we exist in the here and now. Noise pollution somehow is thought to be just a little problem in the larger cacophony of this jittery democracy. Like saving abandoned pets perhaps.

                    The Beastie Boys' video Make Some Noise is an accurate portraiture of the selfish urban dweller, even if its in another country , it resonates. "...My ego is off and running and gone, `Cause I'm about the best and if you diss then that's wrong..." and the chorus raps, "We're gonna party for the mright to fight, Make some noise if you're with me".







                    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/60054015.cms
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                    • Re : Latest News In and around Kolkata

                      Two house collapses reported in the past 48 hours

                      Dwaipayan Ghosh| TNN | Aug 16, 2017, 09:12 PM IST

                      KOLKATA: Two house collapses were reported in the past two days in the city taking the total number of collapses to 15 in the past one-and- a-half months. The first incident was reported from 65, Burtolla Street on Tuesday. "Around 2.30 pm, the wall - connecting the third floor with the ground floor (G+4 building) - crashed. All the eight inmates were rescued by the KMC and police personnel who rushed to the spot. The police have asked KMC to identify all dangerous buildings under ward 22 where the incident has taken place.

                      The other house collapse was reported from ward 24 on the 7/1 Akshay Dutta Lane located in the Hatibagan area on Wednesday. According to police, a protruded portion of the cornice of the second floor collapsed around 9.15 am. The chunk measuring 8ft by 1.5 feet though did not injure anyone but two motorbikes parked underneath it received extensive damages. KMC and police personnel who attended to the call said no one was found trapped under the debris.









                      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/60090413.cms

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