Bengal to adopt ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ model of development
August 17, 2018

In order to progress with the changing dynamics in the IT domain, the West Bengal is trying a new development model termed as ‘Infrastructure as a Service’. Under the new model, the IT department of the State is planning to develop an organised ecosystem for top-notch IT companies which are looking to commence working with minimum capital. Through this initiative, the government aims to create job opportunities for engineering and science graduates. According to a bureaucrat, the new model will help the government to attract companies with an interest in machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data analytics, etc. A…

Kolkata extends the deadline for property tax payment
August 13, 2018

The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has decided to extend the last date for depositing the first quarter outstanding amount of assessment based property tax to September 2, 2018. The property owners failing to pay the tax within the deadline will be charged a penalty of 30 percent of the total amount. All the property owners of various categories that have failed to pay the tax on the earlier deadline of August 2 can now initiate the payment by the new deadline, with an added penalty of 10 percent. After the implementation of new UAA based system in April,…

People’s forum urges implementation of RERA in West Bengal
August 3, 2018

Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE), a non-profit pan-India homebuyers’ association, has recently requested the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee to revoke West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act (WBHIRA) and execute the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, in its true character. According to FPCE Secretary, M S Shankar, the association had written to the CM requesting her to implement a strong pan-India law to safeguard the interest of homebuyers and curb the un-regulated real estate sector across the State. It is to be noted that a meeting constituting all stakeholders, including the movement’s national convener Abhay Upadhyay,…

KMC to extend relief to taxpayers burdened by UAA
July 30, 2018

The Kolkata civic body has formed a hardship removal committee for the property taxpayers who may be burdened by the increased tax in the new Unit Area Assessment (UAA) system. Applicants will be exempted from paying the increased tax if the civic authorities deem it relevant. A taxpayer seeking an exemption is required to cite reasons for their inability to pay the tax calculated based on the UAA.  The civic authority has prepared a capping system to provide relief to the segment of property taxpayers whose tax rates hiked abnormally. There will be no increase in the tax beyond 20 percent of the existing tax rate. Some taxpayers may nevertheless find it difficult to accept the new tax rates; their cases will be then…

East-West Kolkata Metro successfully completes trial run
July 10, 2018

The trial run of the East-West Metro route in Kolkata has been unbeaten and passed off without any hurdles. Given the glitch-free run, the commercial service on the 3 km stretch between Salt Lake Sector V to the Stadium will commence soon. The East-West Metro route runs between Sector V in Salt Lake city to Howrah Maidan across the river Hooghly and covers a distance of 16.6 km. Anup Kumar Kundu, Director, East-West Metro, shared that the rake used in this run was one of the five to be used in the commercial service of the first phase. The tracks,…

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…

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