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Latest News In and around Kolkata

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  • MANOJa
    started a topic Latest News In and around Kolkata

    Latest News In and around Kolkata

    Evicted, slum-dwellers cry foul



    A KMDA eviction drive of slum-dwellers at Nonadanga on the eastern fringes of the city has left over 250 families homeless.

    The drive began at 10.30 am. With three earth movers and a huge police force, officials said the operation was carried out “quite smoothly”. The Rapid Action Force was kept on standby.

    The Trinamool Congress government had said it would not evict any slum-dweller without a rehabilitation programme. In this case, authorities said that only the new encroachers had been removed and the old ones remained.

    “The government had said that while it had a compassionate outlook for slum-dwellers, any encroachment after May 2011 would not be allowed. In the last 2-3 months, these 250-odd families had been settled on around 4 acres of the 15-acre plot of the KMDA. We had given them several notices in the last 10-15 days to vacate this place but no one paid heed to it. Today, the drive was carried out,” said Sushanta Chattopadhyay, official spokesperson of KMDA.

    Urban development minister Firhad Hakim said he had made a recce of the place and only the new structures had been razed. He also alleged that among the encroachers, there were several anti-social elements.

    “There was a small demonstration from the Matingini Hazra Bahini against it. Among the dwellers, many had come from Garbeta and Midnapore (E) and wanted to create a Naxalite den here,” he said. He added that the land was to be utilised for dwelling units to be built under the Basic Service for the Urban Poor project.

    Those rendered homeless, however had a different story. “We have been living here for about five years and one fine morning we were asked to evict the place. We had put in several petitions but to no avail,” said Ujjal Saha, a slum-dweller.

    He said the officials didn’t even give enough time to get the tiles off the sheds, which could be reused. “They did not spare a thought for the 700-plus people who have been left without a roof,” he said, alleging that the shanties were burnt after they were brought down. “It has been done to ensure that we do not reuse the bamboo and thatch sheets to relocate elsewhere,” he said.

    Hakim, however, brushed aside the allegation and said they had done it themselves.

    Many said they had been cheated by the new government. “After we wrote to Firhad Hakim, he met us and assured us that we would not be removed. He did not keep his word,” said Gautam Das, another shanty-dweller.

    Many have decided to spend the night in the open field and sleep inside the huge pipes lying in the vicinity. “I finished preparing lunch when these people bulldozed our homes in front of our eyes,” said Bachhu Das. His wife Sonamoni Das was busy looking for a ‘liveable’ pipe to spend the night with their two children.




    Evicted, slum-dwellers cry foul - Indian Express

  • MANOJa
    replied
    Metro passenger count crosses 3.5 lakh in Kolkata

    Ajanta Chakraborty / TNN / Updated: Nov 29, 2021, 10:28 IST


    Picture used for representational purpose

    KOLKATA: The number of Metro commuters breached the 3.5-lakh mark on Friday — the second day of token reintroduction — less than two months after the carrier had crossed 3 lakh.

    On Friday, 3,57,764 commuters travelled by Metro on the North-South line. Metro had reintroduced tokens from Thursday when the the number of commuters jumped to 3,47,313. On Wednesday, Metro had clocked 3,31,908 passenger counts along the Kavi Subhas-Dakshineswar corridor.

    The 15,405 jump in the number of commuters on the first day of tokens being re-issued as well as the 10,451 rise on the second day have made the Metro authorities hopeful that they would achieve the 4 lakh mark in the next few weeks. Before the pandemic, around 6.2 lakh commuters took the Metro every day. But with only smart card holders being allowed to board the trains, the carrier has only witnessed a steady rise in the number of commuters.

    Meanwhile, Metro is also gearing up for high token sales. On Friday, Metro sold 43,665 tokens against the sale of 32,951 tokens on Thursday.

    Metro is looking at the sale of 60,000 to 70,000 tokens daily and the authorities have fed around 3 lakh tokens into the system. They have also brought in UV sanitizers for the sterilization of the tokens. During the pandemic, tokens — which would cost Rs 5 for the shortest 2km journey — were not issued. Passengers would only be allowed to use multiple-travel smart cards costing minimum Rs 120, of which Rs 80 is security deposit.

    Infrequent travellers avoided the Metro as they were reluctant to lock their money by buying smart cards. Many commuters returned the smart cards at the end of the day to take back the security deposit.










    west bengal: Metro passenger count crosses 3.5 lakh in Kolkata | Kolkata News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)

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  • MANOJa
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    Kolkata civic body warns builders of stop-work notice for flouting pollution norm

    While KMC is yet to contemplate a blanket ban on constructions unless the city’s air quality worsens drastically, it has signalled tough steps against errant builders who do not take any measure to check pollution at construction and demolition sites in the city. KOLKATA: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has warned real estate developers that it will slap stop-work notices if any project is found to flout pollution norms this winter. The move follows Delhi government’s decision to ban construction and demolition activities after the air quality index worsened. The prohibition was lifted on November 22.

    While KMC is yet to contemplate a blanket ban on constructions unless the city’s air quality worsens drastically, it has signalled tough steps against errant builders who do not take any measure to check pollution at construction and demolition sites in the city. Construction dust contributes to 12% of pollutants in Kolkata’s air.

    KMC had in 2019 engaged experts from IIT-Kharagpur and IIEST to suggest ways of minimizing air pollution caused by constructions, especially in winter. Going by their recommendations, the municipal commissioner had issued a circular, making certain portions of KMC buildings rules mandatory for developers and promoters. Buildings department officials in the borough were assigned to look after constructions in their jurisdictions, and were told to especially keep an eye on dumping of construction materials on roads without proper cover.

    According to the circular, all construction and demolition sites are required to be covered by geotextile fabric that will act as dust barrier and prevent minute particles from spreading into the air. While the minute suspended particulate matters disperse in summer with the rising hot air and gets washed down in monsoon, it hangs low in winter, making the air we breathe in toxic. The sites are also required to be watered to ensure the soil does not turn dry and dusty. Water needs to be added in good quantity when excavation or any other earthmoving activity takes place to keep the soil moist throughtout.

    The KMC also wants builders to follow environmental management practices while disposing of construction debris. “Debris disposal is often not given due importance. It is a major source of pollution and proper methods need to be followed,” the official said.

    Though unrelated to air pollution, the SOP also urges builders to ensure sound pollution is not created. “During construction, including cutting of marbles, ambient noise level should not exceed more than 65 decibel,” a civic building department official said.

    Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India’s Bengal chapter president Sushil Mohta said the on-site environment management guidelines had been shared with member companies and most of them adhered to them. “There is greater awareness on pollution among people. We need to manage dust also for the well-being of the workforce at the site,” he said.








    Kolkata civic body warns builders of stop-work notice for flouting pollution norm, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)

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  • MANOJa
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    IT department detects Rs 200-crore black income after raids on Kolkata group

    The department seized Rs 1.30 crore cash and placed half-a-dozen bank lockers, unearthed during the raids, under restraint, The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.
    NEW DELHI: The Income Tax Department has detected unaccounted income of about Rs 200 crore after it recently raided a Kolkata group engaged in cement manufacturing and real estate, the CBDT said in a statement. The searches were carried out at twenty-four premises in Kolkata, Assam, Meghalaya and Delhi on November 16, it said.

    The department seized Rs 1.30 crore cash and placed half-a-dozen bank lockers, unearthed during the raids, under restraint, The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.

    "The search action, so far, has led to the detection of total unaccounted income of around Rs 200 crore," it said in the statement issued on Thursday.

    The CBDT said seized documents indicate evasion of taxable income by adopting various malpractices such as suppression of production, unaccounted and under-invoicing of sales, inflation of cost of purchases using bogus parties and unaccounted expenditure incurred in cash.

    "Evidence of receipt of on-money in cash on sale of flats, by a group concern, has also been unearthed."

    "Analysis of seized evidences reveal that many paper companies are run by the group to provide accommodation entries to its flagship concern," the policy-making body for the Income Tax Department alleged.

    Documents related to unaccounted unsecured loans, bogus commission paid and unsubstantiated share capital and share premium received through shell companies were seized, it claimed.

    The statement said some firms of the group were found to be run in the names of persons/employees who are persons of small means.

    "While these employees were earning meagre salaries, payments running into crores of rupees were being made to such firms. These firms are found to be operating from the factory premise of the group," it said.









    income tax department: IT department detects Rs 200-crore black income after raids on Kolkata group, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)

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  • MANOJa
    replied
    To get CC, builders must repair roads: West Bengal CM

    ​​I would ask officials to conduct an on-site survey and see that the developer undertakes road repairs before issuing the completion certificate for the building,” the CM said. File photo


    HOWRAH: Developers building high-rises in cities and towns often leave construction materials piled up in the vicinity, resulting in damage of roads and pavements.

    Builders will now have to repair the damaged portions before they are granted a completion certificate for the projects.

    Chief minister Mamata Banerjee came up with the idea at the Howrah administrative meeting held at Sarat Sadan on Thursday.

    “I am not against developers. But they often dump construction materials on pavements or stock materials on a portion of the road. It damages the roads.

    I would ask officials to conduct an on-site survey and see that the developer undertakes road repairs before issuing the completion certificate for the building,” the CM said.









    To get CC, builders must repair roads: West Bengal CM, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)

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  • MANOJa
    replied
    Rise in construction material, labour cost may push up realty rates in Kolkata

    The increase will be around 15 per cent in the affordable segment till 2022, which will translate to Rs 450 to Rs 1000 per sq feet considering the price bracket for it is Rs 3000 to Rs 6000 per square ft, a CREDAI official said.
    KOLKATA: Realtors have hiked property prices in West Bengal and have attributed it to the sharp rise in input costs and buoyancy in the demand for housing, a CREDAI official said on Thursday.

    Buoyancy in the demand for housing in the state, specially in the affordable segment, with support from the state and central governments has encouraged them to take the decision to increase property prices, the official said.

    An increase of about five per cent has already been affected done and another 10 per cent will be hiked by 2022, he said.

    The increase will be around 15 per cent in the affordable segment till 2022, which will translate to Rs 450 to Rs 1000 per sq feet considering the price bracket for it is Rs 3000 to Rs 6000 per square ft, he said.

    The affordable segment comprise about 85 per cent of the total inventory, the official of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India said.

    Credai, the apex body of private real estate developers in the country, has urged the government to include a cost escalation clause to insulate builders from any sudden jump in construction material costs.

    "The hike was inevitable as there had been no price revision in the last three to four years while year-on-year overhead costs had been at least five per cent. Since the past one year the cost inflation of construction material has been unprecedented with increase in steel and cement prices," CREDAI (West Bengal) president Sushil Mohta said.

    "The construction cost has gone up by 12 per cent in the past one year and the labour cost has increased by almost 20 per cent. Fuel prices too have gone up which has a considerable impact on the real estate sector," Mohta said.

    Nandu Belani, who heads the Bengal chapter of CREDAI said the government must take some regulatory measure in the new Real Estate Regulatory Authority framework by which builders get some safeguards from cost inflation after project prices had been announced till projects are handed over to customers.

    Realtors have said that the price hike will provide the builders a breather. They claimed despite cost inflation property prices have remained stagnant as industry is facing a severe slowdown.

    The Bengal government had in the last budget allowed a cut in circle rate and in stamp duty which helped demand soar in the state in the past three months. West Bengal is about 1500 units per annum market, the CREDAI official said.









    Rise in construction material, labour cost may push up realty rates in Kolkata, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)

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  • MANOJa
    replied
    Green fuel to power entire Kolkata public vehicle fleet by 2030


    Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay / TNN / Updated: Nov 11, 2021, 12:53 IST

    At present, 100 electric buses ply in the city

    KOLKATA: The city’s entire public transport will run on clean fuel — electricity, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) — by 2030, said state’s transport minister Firhad Hakim on Wednesday. By public transport, he meant the bus fleet — both private and state transport undertakings (STUs), taxis and autos. This is certainly an ambitious departure from his earlier stance, when he set a 2030 target for the entire STU fleet to be EV only.

    Hakim was speaking at a panel discussion on accelerating electric mobility with green jobs and gender parity organised by Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. While detailing the success story of e-vehicles in public transport, Hakim said, “100 electric buses are plying in the city. STUs will be acquiring 1,000 more e-buses shortly, besides the only surviving tram network which has been operational since 1880. Also, 300 STU diesel buses are being converted into dedicated CNG buses.”

    The possibility of CNG supply through a pipeline has gained momentum after intervention of the National Green Tribunal. “We will also convert the entire fleet of private buses to dedicated CNG buses in a phased manner.”

    Significantly, the state is actively thinking of giving financial aid for facilitating the shift from diesel to CNG. The promised shift will do enormous good to the city’s environment, as well to India’s commitment to keep global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial level and to secure net-zero emission by 2050. The state has set an ambitious target to be among the top three best states in India in terms of electric mobility penetration by 2030.

    Director general of International Solar Alliance Ajay Mathur appreciated the state’s ambitious move towards cleaner fuel and said, “Adoption of electric vehicles will generate jobs double that of IC engine vehicle manufacturing and it will facilitate higher mobility of women.”

    The Bengal government in its EV policy targeted 10 lakh EVs combined across all segments by 2030 with 1 lakh charging stations. In the EV policy, Kolkata, Asansol, Darjeeling and Howrah have already been declared model EM cities with phase-wise goals to adopt EV charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and new EV-enabling building codes, where at 20% parking must be earmarked for EVs. The policy declared the intercity electrification of green routes with a target to promote intercity electric mobility penetration for Kolkata-Asansol and Kolkata-Digha routes.

    Rapid chargers will be deployed at an average distance of 25km, catering to electric buses and heavy-duty vehicles.









    Green fuel to power entire Kolkata public vehicle fleet by 2030 | Kolkata News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)

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  • MANOJa
    replied
    Rise in construction material, labour cost may push up realty rates in Kolkata

    The increase will be around 15 per cent in the affordable segment till 2022, which will translate to Rs 450 to Rs 1000 per sq feet considering the price bracket for it is Rs 3000 to Rs 6000 per square ft, a CREDAI official said.
    KOLKATA: Realtors have hiked property prices in West Bengal and have attributed it to the sharp rise in input costs and buoyancy in the demand for housing, a CREDAI official said on Thursday.

    Buoyancy in the demand for housing in the state, specially in the affordable segment, with support from the state and central governments has encouraged them to take the decision to increase property prices, the official said.

    An increase of about five per cent has already been affected done and another 10 per cent will be hiked by 2022, he said.

    The increase will be around 15 per cent in the affordable segment till 2022, which will translate to Rs 450 to Rs 1000 per sq feet considering the price bracket for it is Rs 3000 to Rs 6000 per square ft, he said.

    The affordable segment comprise about 85 per cent of the total inventory, the official of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India said.

    Credai, the apex body of private real estate developers in the country, has urged the government to include a cost escalation clause to insulate builders from any sudden jump in construction material costs.

    "The hike was inevitable as there had been no price revision in the last three to four years while year-on-year overhead costs had been at least five per cent. Since the past one year the cost inflation of construction material has been unprecedented with increase in steel and cement prices," CREDAI (West Bengal) president Sushil Mohta said.

    "The construction cost has gone up by 12 per cent in the past one year and the labour cost has increased by almost 20 per cent. Fuel prices too have gone up which has a considerable impact on the real estate sector," Mohta said.

    Nandu Belani, who heads the Bengal chapter of CREDAI said the government must take some regulatory measure in the new Real Estate Regulatory Authority framework by which builders get some safeguards from cost inflation after project prices had been announced till projects are handed over to customers.

    Realtors have said that the price hike will provide the builders a breather. They claimed despite cost inflation property prices have remained stagnant as industry is facing a severe slowdown.

    The Bengal government had in the last budget allowed a cut in circle rate and in stamp duty which helped demand soar in the state in the past three months. West Bengal is about 1500 units per annum market, the CREDAI official said.













    Rise in construction material, labour cost may push up realty rates in Kolkata, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)

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  • MANOJa
    replied
    Kolkata records 39,832 property registrations between Jan-Oct 2021

    As many as 39,832 property registrations were completed in Kolkata between January and October, a little more than double the number (19,876) of the corresponding period last year.
    KOLKATA: A spike in property sales and registrations, following the twin sops announced for home buyers in this year’s state budget, have led developers in Kolkata to expect all-time record sales this year in the real estate sector, an industry that has seen negative growth in the last three years.

    As many as 39,832 property registrations were completed in Kolkata between January and October, a little more than double the number (19,876) of the corresponding period last year. With three more months of sops to follow, the industry is hopeful of an “unprecedented” good show.

    “The sales have been phenomenal since July, when the government announced a 2% reduction in stamp duty and a 10% cut in circle rates for registration of properties,” said Nandu Belani, president, Bengal chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (Credai). “I believe transactions will now accelerate even further in the next three months,”he added.

    Between July and October, the directorate of registration and stamp revenue clocked 19,843 registrations, up from 9,351 registrations of the corresponding period last year. Sources said they expected the registration number to cross 50,000 in the next three months. “The 2021-2022 fiscal will easily be the best we have seen,” said Sanjay Jain, chairman of a real estate group.

    “The registration figures till October are a mix of new units sold and homes and apartments purchased earlier that had not been registered. But, from November, it will predominantly be driven by new home sales, as customers are ready to avail themselves of the stamp duty cut,” he added.

    Sales data of new homes for the July-September quarter shows that sales during the quarter this — 6,861 — is almost double that of the 3,921 units in the corresponding period last year. Also, it is 125% more than Q3 2019, at 6,861.

    Shishir Baijal, the chairman and managing director of a real estate consultancy firm, attributed the buoyancy of Kolkata’s real estate market directly to the stamp duty cut introduced in July. “Demand stimulants, such as that taken by the state government, have a manifold impact, not only on the residential real estate sector but also on the economy at large. With sustained momentum in buying, we expect supply to also pick pace, leading to more employment and greater prosperity,” he remarked.

    The largest number of registrations have happened in north Kolkata — 43% — followed by south Kolkata at 34%. In terms of unit size, apartments over 500sq ft witnessed a 260% year-on-year growth. In the 500sq ft-1,000sq ft category, 2,275 units were registered this October, up from 631 units last year. In apartments sized over 1,000sqft, 1,227 units were registered in October, up from 341 units registered in October 2020.

    Sushil Mohta, president of Credai West Bengal, said the high demand was not only leading to inventory reduction, but it was also an opportunity for developers to raise prices, without it being passed on to buyers. “The last few years have been very challenging for the industry. This year’s recovery, catalysed by the state government sops and aided by low home loan interest rates as well as pent-up demand, was needed for the industry to stay healthy and drive Bengal’s growth,” he said.

    The high sales have already reduced inventory, that was beginning to worry among builders. Many builders who had shifted to cost-saving mode and cut salaries as well as jobs are now looking to hire manpower again. “Salaries have long been restored. The growth demand is also putting pressure on manpower, and hence there will be additional recruitments that will happen on that front as well,” said Credai India president Harsh Patodia.










    Kolkata records 39,832 property registrations between Jan-Oct 2021, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)

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  • MANOJa
    replied
    West Bengal: Three-month extension for real estate rebate window

    The rebate window was originally slated to end on October 30 but CM Mamata Banerjee had indicated that it would be extended following an appeal by builders affiliated to state chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India (Credai).
    KOLKATA: The state finance department has issued a notification extending the limited period budgetary sops to real estate sector — 2% cut in stamp duty and 10% reduction in circle rate — by three months till January 31, 2022.

    The rebate window was originally slated to end on October 30 but CM Mamata Banerjee had indicated that it would be extended following an appeal by builders affiliated to state chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India (Credai).

    According to the twin notifications, a 10% reduction in circle rate and revised stamp duty of 4% for units that cost up to Rs 1 crore and 5% for units that cost over Rs 1 crore announced in state budget and effective till October 30 was being extended till January 31, 2022.

    The industry had requested the government to extend the rebate by two months till December 31, 2021, but has not got an additional month.

    “This is huge for the industry. It will generate demand for the next three months and sustain the growth that we have witnessed since July-end,” Credai Bengal president Nandu Belani said.

    Over 60% of home sales in Kolkata happen in five months — September to January. With the sops covering this period, the industry is eyeing the highest ever sales clocked in second half of the year (July-December).

    Between July and September this year, 15,160 apartments were sold, up from 6,842 apartments sold during the corresponding period last year. The spike in demand has also led to an increase in launches. While only 756 units were launched in April-June 2021, developers launched 3,128 in the following three months.

    Credai West Bengal president Sushil Mohta said it would offer a huge relief to home buyers and bring more revenue to state coffers. Shishir Baijal, chairman and MD of international real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank India, said the extension had come at an important cusp of time as the country headed towards Diwali.









    West Bengal: Three-month extension for real estate rebate window, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate (indiatimes.com)

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