West Bengal govt declares new housing scheme
June 24, 2018

The West Bengal government has announced a housing scheme titled 'Nijoshree' to grant homes to people who can not purchase accommodations near the city with their existing monthly income. Firhad Hakim, state minister, shared that the decision was taken at a cabinet meeting, following the success of 'Banglar Bari,' a rehabilitation scheme under which slum-dwellers of Kolkata and other municipalities in the state were given one flat each. Under the 'Nijoshree' scheme, two categories of flats will be provided to people whose monthly earnings are not above Rs 30,000. Those earning up to Rs 15,000 per month are eligible to…

Kolkata: Commercial developers move to peripheral business districts
June 21, 2018

Kolkata, the prime financial and commercial hub in eastern India has important industrial sectors in the region. The companies present in the area have maintained regional headquarters in the city's central business district (CBD). The issues about the project and precinct-level infrastructure, congestion, parking and low supply of grade-A office space have resulted in an increased preference for office space in the secondary and peripheral business districts in greater Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA). Secondary business districts (SBDs) have developed over two stretches in Kolkata: Park Circus Connector Topsia and Rashbehari Connector Kasba Industrial Estate. With an increase in population, the…

West Bengal notifies RERA rules, regulator to be appointed soon
June 4, 2018

The West Bengal government has finally notified the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA). The government has announced its own version of the Act - West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act (HIRA), 2017. However, no regulator has been appointed yet. Officials have stated that the appointment of a regulator will be done in another three months. Similarly, no website for registration of ongoing projects and developers has been created yet. An appellate tribunal will also be set up for resolving builder-buyer issues within 120 days. State Housing Minister, Sovon Chatterjee, has stated that the State government will make necessary…

India’s first underwater tunnel in Kolkata to be completed soon
June 2, 2018

The construction work of India's first underwater tunnel is in its final stage. The tunnelling work under the Hooghly river in order to provide metro connectivity between Howrah and Kolkata is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. The 520-metre twin tunnel will pose a major link for the 16.6-km long East-West Metro project in Kolkata. The tunnel is developed 30 metre below the riverbed. Travellers moving from Howrah to Mahakaran metro station will be under the water for about a minute. The metro train will pass through the tunnel at a speed of 80 km per hour. Of…

Kolkata authority collects Rs 1 crore as property tax under UAA system
May 21, 2018

The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has collected more than Rs one crore as property tax since April 1, 2018. The collection is recorded after the introduction of property tax assessment and collection based on unit area assessment (UAA). Officials have shared that more than 3,500 online self-assessments have been submitted. Out of which, about 3,000 property owners have paid the taxes using the new assessment method. Generating such a humungous revenue within a month of introducing UAA-based property tax collection is commendable, opine officials. The Authority has initiated a drive to encourage remaining owners to complete the self-assessment.…

Kolkata civic body partners with police to vacate unsafe buildings
April 27, 2018

In a joint operation, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has partnered with Kolkata Police to issue notices to shaky buildings that require immediate repair. In the last week, a total of 57 notices have been issued to the owners. According to sources, the upcoming monsoon season along with the recent thunderstorm where partial building collapses claimed three lives is the reason both the departments are taking precaution in advance. A senior KMC official stated that this is the second attempt when the authority is trying to inform the occupants and owners of such buildings. Involving the police would help the…

Kolkata airport metro: Oustees refuse shop spaces in exchange for their homes
March 29, 2018

New Town building owners have declined the offer to receive shop spaces situated below New Town box bridge offered by Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation in exchange for their homes falling along the Garia-Airport Metro corridor. They would prefer to receive two-storey buildings having land and building ownership rights. This offer by the corporation to relocate occupants of three two-storey structures at Mahishbathan, situated at the start of New Town, has come about when a notification was pasted by the land acquisition division, below North 24-Parganas DM. The occupants residing in the three buildings coupled with the ones in other four-storey and…

Centre to reconsider smart city tag for New Town in Kolkata
March 24, 2018

Hardeep Singh Puri, Union minister confirmed that the housing and urban affairs ministry is going to review the smart city tag for New Town Kolkata on account of not implementing any of the Centre's flagship programme as yet. However, the Union housing and urban affairs minister is hoping that there might be some admin issues which led to the delay in kick-starting the pre-defined projects. He also added that two years were more than enough to rectify such administrative issues. Once a city gets selected for the mission, it is necessary to appoint consultants, form special purpose vehicle (SPV), draw…

Activists revolt against MoEF for diluting green norms for real estate projects
March 22, 2018

Urban planners and green activists are revolting against the draft issued by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change to ease green norms. The said draft has recommended that it will increase the threshold value of construction requiring environment clearance to two-and-a-half times the current norm. At present, projects that are above 20,000 sqm require environment clearance. If the law gets implemented, projects below 50,000 sqm height will be exempted from the rigorous task of environment clearance. It is speculated that the rule is proposed to achieve the target of ‘housing for all by 2022’ otherwise it would not…

West Bengal authority to develop tourist spots at seashores
March 8, 2018

The West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC) will develop infrastructure for the accommodation of tourists in seaside areas. The decision was made considering the increased number of tourists in the state. The Authority has selected Digha as one of the tourist spots where infrastructure will be developed. WBFDC has urged the Digha Sankarpur Development Authority (DSDA) to help acquire land for the development of the accommodation facilities for tourists. Udayan Guha, Chairman, WBFDC, has stated that we have requested the Digha development authority to get us a plot close to the seashore. The Corporation will decide later whether to develop…

PWD to build an elevated corridor on BT road in Kolkata
February 24, 2018

In Kolkata, the Public Works Department (PWD) has proposed to develop an elevated corridor from Tala to Dunlop on BT Road, in order to cut traffic chaos in the region. The State government has already sanctioned a sum of Rs 6,195 crore for the project. It is one of the 12 special infrastructure development projects across the state. Officials have stated that the status of traffic congestion of the stretch of BT Road has become a troublemaker for daily commuter lately. There are several esteemed institutions including Indian Statistical Institute and Rabindra Bharati University, located parallel to the road. The…

West Bengal govt to go digital for payment of property taxes
January 13, 2018

The West Bengal government will launch online tax assessment and e-payment system of municipal property tax for all municipalities and municipal corporations across the state. Urban development minister, Firhad Hakim will launch the online system from Uttarpara-Kotrung Municipality. Officials have informed that new online system will be first be implemented in 20 municipal bodies within a month. The system will be gradually introduced in all 125 municipal bodies across the state in multiple phases. In the first phase, around 3.4 lakh houses across 10 municipal bodies have already been integrated and linked with the land records online. The new system…

West Bengal govt to introduce new mining rules soon
January 7, 2018

The West Bengal government will soon announce a new set of rules and regulations for carrying out all mining activities across the state. The decision was made following the Supreme Court guideline to ensure transparency in auctioning of mines. The state government has even directed all District Magistrates to identify a possible solution of the auction of minerals that are under private lands and to submit a report for mineral mining without affecting environmental degradation. Officials have stated that the government has been facing a problem in getting access to private lands rich in minerals. Across the state, there are…

Bidhannagar civic body set to launch online property tax portal
January 5, 2018

To ease the property tax payment process, the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation will soon be launching a property tax portal wherein, residents within the civic body’s limits will be able to pay their property tax online. Speaking on the occasion, Bidhannagar Mayor, Sabyasachi Dutta said that the civic body is working on introducing an online property tax payment service as soon as possible. Officials even said that once the service is introduced, tax payers need not visit bank branches or stand in queues since there will be an option to make tax payment using debit card or netbanking on the civic…

West Bengal to construct 13,000 km rural roads
January 4, 2018

The West Bengal government has decided to develop about 13,000 km of roads connecting rural regions across the state to the urban centres. The decision was made to improve the rural economic transactions on the back of smooth connectivity. The ambitious road project would incur over 7,800 crore. Subrata Mukherjee, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister, West Bengal, has stated that the state government will contribute Rs 3,100 crore as its share of fund. Earlier, it was proposed to develop 7000 km roads across the state. Earlier, entire funding for construction of rural roads could be recovered from the Centre but…

West Bengal govt to hand over houses to 5 lakh people on January 29
January 4, 2018

The West Bengal government will be handing over houses to over five lakh beneficiaries under the state government's Bangla Gramin Abas Yojna (BMAY) on January 29, 2018. Another three lakh beneficiaries have been assisted for building their houses under the 'Geetanjali' scheme. The state government has also announced the development of Rs 3,000-crore north-south corridor road project, crossing through Bardhaman district. A sum of Rs 2,768 crore has been sanctioned for the irrigation facilities in the western districts of the state. Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal, has also extended a relief fund of Rs 1,200 crore to farmers affected…

Kolkata civic body mandates UAA mode for property tax, registration
December 24, 2017

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has mandated the new method of unit area assessment (UAA) for property tax calculation. With this move, all options other than the UAA mode to people making any property-related application except routine tax payment have been stopped. The demand bills generated by the KMC for registration, mutation, separation, apportionment and amalgamation are all on UAA basis. After this announcement, several complaints have started pouring in from south Kolkata, including Sambhunath Pandit Street and Sarat Bose Road. A KMC assessment department official conceded that hundreds of mutation applications were pending because of the new rule making…

Kolkata Municipal Corporation to streamline new property tax system
December 6, 2017

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation is set to revise the Unit Area Assessment (UAA) method for determination of property tax amidst poor response from the property owners. Recently, Sovan Chatterjee, Mayor, Kolkata, held a high-level meeting with the top civic officials of the authority to choose the future course of action and boost the confidence of tax payers’ by rationalising the present structure of UAA. He even expressed his concern for the poor response received for the new method of property tax calculation. Out of the estimated 7.5 lakh assesses in the city, just over 40,000 tax payers have applied for…

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