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Old July 18th, 2007, 10:11 PM   #81
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Old July 19th, 2007, 04:27 AM   #82
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Rs 5,000-cr offer from Japan bank

Times of India ePaper (19-Jul-07)
Quote:
ON THE FAST LANE
Rs 5,000-cr offer from Japan bank
JBIC’s grand proposals could modernise Kolkata’s transport system, a la Bangkok
Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay | TNN

Kolkata: The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has offered a slew of projects to modernise and smooth out Kolkata chaotic transport system into one resembling Tokyo or Bangkok.
The projects, which add up to a whopping Rs 5809.2 crore, include the East-West Metro and no less than 72 flyovers. All for Kolkata. Howrah, though, is smarting that it has been completely left out of JBIC’s grand plans.
The bank unveiled its proposals at a presentation of its study on the city’s traffic and transportation system to the government on Wednesday.
Modelled on the traffic systems in Tokyo and Bangkok, the recommendations emphasise the integration of transit systems through ‘easy modal shifts’ (switch from one mode of transport to another), integrated fare and ticketing systems. “The most amazing discrepancy in the systems (in Kolkata) is that each runs according to its own whim without consideration for the passengers they are catering to,” said a Japanese team member. Through integration of the transportation systems, you could travel by different modes of transport on a single ticket.
Transport minister Subhas Chakraboty took a keen interest in JBIC’s presentation. A host of officers from the railways, transport department, PWD, urban development department, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority and the city and state traffic police attended the meet.
The most important and the biggest project is, of course, the East-West Metro. Both the state government and JBIC are upbeat about the implementation of the project. The other high priority projects include doubling of circular railway, Joka-Panihati mass rapid transit system, rationalisation of bus routes, feeder network for intermodal transfer points, development of ferry services. High priority projects in traffic management sector are parking study, transport demand management, area traffic control and traffic signal an removal of slow-moving vehicles from major corridors.
The JBIC study shows that frequency, reliability and comfort of city’s public transport system is not high enough to encourage modal shift from private cars to public transport. The existing public transport system (bus and rail) do not have adequate access facilities, feeder systems or modal interchange facilities. SOME OF THE PROJECTS JBIC HAS OFFERED TO FINANCE
PUBLIC TRANSPORT
East-West Metro: Rs 4,206 cr Doubling of circular railway track: Rs 336 cr Integrated fare & ticketing system: Rs 3.4 cr
ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAMMES
Elevation & widening of VIP Rd: Rs 640 cr Flyovers on BT Rd, Sinthee More and Tobin Rd: Rs 51.3 cr South extension from Kamalgazi to Baruipur: Rs 61.3 cr Flyover on VIP Rd-Jessore Rd crossing: Rs 10.5 cr
Flyover on Elachi Pailan Road: Rs 111.3 cr
Flyover at Joka: Rs 119.8 cr
Flyover on Prince Anwar Shah Rd: Rs 59.3 cr
Rly overbridges: Rs 27 crore
Rly underpass widening: Rs 42 cr
Rly underpasses: Rs 18 cr
Pedestrian subways: Rs 7.5 cr
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:14 AM   #83
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Something for Howrah

http://www.telegraphindia.com/107071...ry_8076688.asp

Upgrade package for Howrah
A STAFF REPORTER

The state government on Wednesday finalised a Rs 247-crore package for the development of Howrah town and its vicinity.

The package, approved under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, aims at revamping the drainage, traffic and the water supply systems of these areas. Slum development, too, figures prominently on the list.

The development scheme was finalised at a meeting called by urban development minister Asok Bhattacharyya at Writers’ Buildings on Wednesday. The Howrah mayor, Gopal Mukherjee, and other members of the municipal corporation attended the meeting.

Representatives of Howrah Improvement Trust (HIT), railways and neighbouring municipalities were also present.

“The package that we have finalised will cover all aspects of development of Howrah and its surrounding areas. But special emphasis has been given on drainage, considering the recent spate of waterlogging,” said urban development minister Asok Bhattacharyya.

The drainage and sewerage schemes will cost Rs 93 crore.

The minister pointed out that the problem of waterlogging can be solved only if channels are dug to link the drains. Dredging of the Pancha canal is also a priority.

A team comprising officials of the civic body, HIT and the railways will inspect Tikiapara, where the tracks remained inundated for three days following the July 3 downpour. Drainage revamp work will start once the committee submits its report.

Around Rs 90 crore has been allotted for the improvement of the water supply system. Kanika Ganguly, the MLA from Bali, has submitted a Rs 50-lakh proposal, which includes construction of an underground reservoir and 16 overhead reservoirs.

“We aim to supply treated surface water from the Padmapukur water treatment plant to the people of Howrah and added areas,” the minister said.

For slum development, the package has allotted around Rs 64 crore.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 03:30 PM   #84
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Civic rider for realtors

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/K...ow/2215854.cms

Quote:
Realtors will need to shell out more - apart from the price of land and construction costs - for highrise projects. That's because they will also have to build basic infrastructure in the area without which the project will not get the go-ahead from Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

The flip side is that the realtors may well pass on the extra cost to you when you go to buy an apartment.

At least two upcoming highrises have come under the KMC's unwritten law on infrastructure.

The upcoming 19-storey complex on DC De Road on EM Bypass is one of them. KMC wants the promoter, Mahakosh Property Developers, to do a bit of social service. According to the agreement with the civic authorities, the realtor will widen DC De Road and install streetlights (sodium vapour lamps) on that road and Dhapa Road till EM Bypass. The road widening will cost Rs 2 crore. The developers will also have to maintain the street lights in the entire area for the next five years. Planting of saplings and beautification of the surrounding area will also be their responsibility.

In lieu, the civic authorities have agreed to give some relaxation to the developers. "We have decided to ease the norms on floor-area-ratio. Considering the width of the present road, the developers cannot build such a high building,' said a KMC building department official.

Mayor-in-council member (building) Dipankar De is elated that the civic body could "persuade" the developers into taking up social infrastructure projects. "We bargained hard and managed to convince the developers to improve basic infrastructure in the area," the MMiC said.

Terming it a rainbow project, Shivam Asthana, the general manager of the construction group, said that development of infrastructure was not a burden on them and they would happily do the job as committed. The complex will be one of the largest housing projects in Kolkata with six 20-storey towers.

Mahakosh Property Developers bought the 16.50-acre plot from the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (the plot belonged to the erstwhile National Tyre Corporation of India). They will keep aside 2.5 lakh sq feet for office space and non-polluting industries.

The second project to come under the social infrastructure umbrella is a residential complex in Topsia. The developers have been told to renovate the drainage system. "The developer has agreed to our condition and will spend Rs 3 crore on drainage lines. We have sanctioned their building plans based on this agreement," the MMiC said.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 10:15 PM   #85
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Texmaco plans Rs 1,000-cr food park venture with LMJ Intl


Texmaco Ltd, a K K Birla group company, is planning to set up a “food park” — an industrial zone for food processing units — at Sankrail, some 25 km off Kolkata in Howrah District.

Announcing this to newspersons after the company’s 67th AGM, Mr S.K. Poddar, Executive Vice-Chairman, said that it would be a Rs 1,000-crore-project and would be executed through a 50:50 joint venture with the Kolkata-based LMJ International Ltd.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 09:55 AM   #86
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Kolkata to have its second 'Taj' Hotel

http://www.expresshospitality.com/20...market21.shtml

EH Staff - Kolkata

Putting to rest all speculations, Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces has announced to set up its second property in Kolkata. Indian Hotels Company Limited, which runs the Taj brand of hotels, has entered into a management contract with city-based Jalan Intercontinental Hotels for a Gateway Hotel in the City of Joy.

The new hotel, a part of Taj business hotels portfolio, will be built on 1.9 acres of land strategically located at the junction of Rashbehari Connector close to the IT Complex at Sector-V in Salt Lake. It is located to cater to the upcoming IT hubs at Rajarhat/New Town and the proposed IT Park at Nonadanga. Taj Hotels which has three divisions, luxury, business and leisure is already operating Taj Bengal,a 229-room luxury hotel in the city.

Jamshed S Daboo, COO, Taj Business Hotels, said, "The launch of our second hotel in Kolkata is a significant milestone. It will give us critical inventory in the burgeoning market. The strategic location coupled with the timing of the project are key factors that will help us consolidate our position."

The new 200-room mid-market property, a part of the Taj Business Hotel will be equipped with an all-day dining restaurant, a bar, 10,000 sq. ft of banqueting and meeting facilities, a fitness centre and a swimming pool. A senior official of Jalan InterContinental Hotels said, "The Gateway, our first foray into the hospitality business, will be a five-star business hotel and we hope to carry forward our partnership with Taj in the future."
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 10:10 AM   #87
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Road to link Belgharia and Dakshineswar

http://cities.expressindia.com/fulls...?newsid=247209

Kolkata, July 22: A New link road is coming up between the Belgharia Expressway and Alambazar in the city’s northern outskirts.

The twin double-lane roads will allow residents in Salt Lake and Rajarhat to reach Dakshineswar, less than a kilometre away from Alambazar, in a little more than half an hour.



For airport-bound vehicles from across the river, the new connectivity will help in cutting down travel time.

At present, people travelling to the northern fringes of Kolkata take the PWD Road from Dunlop Crossing to reach Dakshineswar.

Or else, they drive on the Belgharia Expressway, through the newly inaugurated bridge and descend down the existing arms of the bridge to the Alambazar rotary.

Project director, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Lt Col GGK Nair said the new road will ease traffic congestion on the bridge. “In the future, more traffic would have led to jams on the existing ramps. We want to avoid that situation,” he said.

With the new road, there will be four passages in all, each allowing a unidirectional flow of vehicles. Construction of two ramps is already underway. Sources said the new road will be ready for use in another six months.

Second Vivekananda Bridge Tollway Company (SVBTC) Private Limited has been handed the task of constructing the new link. SVBTC had designed and is currently operating the Second Vivekananda Bridge, now known as the Sister Nivedita Bridge.

The elevated link road will have two bi-lanes of 300 to 400 metre each, both terminating and originating at the Alambazar rotary. “The bridge was not a part of the original blueprint of the Second Vivekananda Project. This part was later sanctioned,” said Lt Col Nair.

“The new link coupled with the Belgharia Expressway will provide speedy access to the outskirts of the city. Not many people are aware of the importance of the Belgharia Expressway,” added Nair.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 02:38 PM   #88
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Bhushan Steel to acquire land directly

Source: Business-Standard.com

Quote:
Bhusan Steel likely to acquire land directly
Ishita Ayan Dutt / Kolkata July 17, 2007
Bhushan Steel is likely to purchase land directly from the owners for its proposed steel plant in Bengal, spread over 2,500 acres.

The company would start discussions with the land owners over the next two months. “We would like to purchase land directly from the people. We will start talking to them in the next two months,” said Rajiv Agarwal, vice-president, commercial, Bhushan Steel. The land is for setting up a 2 million tonnes plant. The project is set to come up near Asansol and the land has already been identified. The entire site, comprising 2,500 acres, is on private land and is barren. Agarwal said the company would talk to the land owners first and if it faced any resistance, it would seek the government support.

If the direct purchase happens, it will be the second instance in Bengal, where a company is directly acquiring land from the people, the first being JSW Steel. The West Bengal government has so far discouraged direct land purchase by companies. The state government prefers the land to be acquired by a government agency and then leased out to the company.

However, Agarwal said Bhushan’s memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government had both the options and the company would prefer buying land directly from the people.

Bhushan’s direct purchase of land may set the trend in West Bengal. Recently, Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot also expressed the willingness to go for direct purchase of land for its proposed special economic zones (SEZs) in the state.

The land acquisition is expected to be completed in six months. The company would come up with a compensation package after talking to the people.

“We don’t know what their demands are, we will find out after talking to them,” said Agarwal. The compensation would be mostly in cash.

According to the terms of the MoU, Bhushan would also set up a training institute. “We will absorb people on merit,” he said.

Apart from the steel plant, Bhushan would also set up a cold rolling facility. Agarwal said the company was shown land in North 24 Parganas, but it wanted it within 30-35 km from Kolkata. Bhushan requires 70-80 acres for the rolling facility.

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Old July 24th, 2007, 05:50 AM   #89
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Turf club unlocking prime plot in city centre
http://www.telegraphindia.com/107072...ry_8084762.asp

Quote:
A prime plot in the heart of downtown Calcutta is being unlocked, paving the way for a heritage clubbing address with exclusive five-star rooms.

The management of Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) is giving final touches to its survival-cum-revival plan of converting the crumbling clubhouse on the 11 Russell Street premises into a heritage city club, in collaboration with upcountry real estate major Emaar MGF Land Pvt Ltd.

While no confirmation was forthcoming from the realty firm, and the stewards of RCTC maintaining that they were yet to sign on the dotted line, the market buzz is that Emaar MGF has emerged on top of the tender heap.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 05:52 AM   #90
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Godrej Properties forays into Kolkata's residential market

http://www.telegraphindia.com/107072...ry_8096363.asp

Quote:
After its foray into IT through a couple of tech parks in Sector V and proposed retail entry in partnership with the RPG Group, the Godrej Group has announced its plans for the residential segment in Calcutta with the acquisition of city-based Happy Highrises.

Godrej Properties, the realty arm of the $1.3-billion Godrej Group, has completed the acquisition of the Happy Group company for Rs 100 crore, a top Godrej official said on Monday.

“We have acquired Happy Highrises. We intend to develop a middle-income group residential estate on their land,” Godrej Properties managing director Milind Korde said.

The company has secured around 3.5 million sq ft of developable land through this acquisition.

“We had purchased the 25-acre plot on BT Road in Sodepur from National Textile Corporation and had intended doing MIG housing there. Now, it will be done by Godrej Properties,” said Sushil Poddar, the Happy Group chairman.

“This will be our first residential project in Calcutta. We will develop the property on our own,” added Korde. Godrej Properties will reserve part of the plot for retail.

The acquisition was funded through internal accruals and the total investment in the proposed MIG housing project is pegged at Rs 500 crore. Ground-breaking is expected in early-2008.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 06:02 AM   #91
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Metro unveils airport link plan

from Times of India ePaper of 24-Jul-07

Quote:
Metro unveils airport link plan
Authorities Draw Up Grand Plans To Cut Down Travel Time, But Traffic Congestion Still As Bad As Ever In Cramped City
Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay | TNN

Kolkata: Imagine getting off the plane at NSCBI Airport and instead of standing in a queue for taxis, taking the Metro straight home to Tollygunge. Or Girish Park. Or Rabindra Sadan. Or any other station on the existing Metro network.
Sounds like a dream? Not really, if Metro planners are to be believed. Metro authorities have put forward a proposal to the Railway Board for a feasibility study on extending the existing Metro network to the airport. The planners want to use the elevated track from Dum Dum Cantonment to the airport.
At present, the Dum Dumairport link is used by only two EMUs every day. The elevated track is a symbol of colossal waste with about two people, on an average, travelling by these trains daily. There is no escalator to take passengers to the 100-foot-high platform. “Why the railways built the elevated track instead of taking the metro to the airport is itself an enigma,” said a state transport department official.
Metro authorities have also suggested that instead of having the final station nearly 1 km away from the airport, the Metro may be taken closer to the domestic terminal. “This will facilitate easy modal shift from the Metro to the airlines. In this age of no-frill airlines, no passenger would like to spend Rs 500 on cab fare after flying for just Rs 1,500,” said a senior metro railway official.
The existing Metro Railway tracks end at Noapara carshed. Metro planners want to build a station at Noapara. From there, an underground metro corridor would be constructed, which would meet up with the elevated track somewhere near Dum Dum Cantonment station and continue to the airport.
In most metropolises, the airport is linked to the rest of the city by efficient mass-rapid-transit systems. But Kolkata, despite having the Metro network, remains an exception. The Railway Board woke up to this and asked Metro planners if the network can be extended to the airport. To do that, the the tracks wold have to be modified and the platforms redesigned, said Metro authorities and proposed a study to weigh the pros and cons of the extension plan.
“For trains running on the elevated tracks, power is supplied through overhead cables. But operating the Metro would need the third line at the ground level. So, by eliminating the overhead lines and reinstalling the third rail, Metro can move on the elevated tracks. But platforms also need to be redesigned. The Metro rakes are narrower than a normal EMU coach. So the platforms need to be wider,” said a metro official.
Over the last few years, NSCBI Airport has witnessed a massive jump in traffic with a number of domestic and international carriers jostling for connectivity.
But compared to the jump in operations, the passenger dispersal system remains ageold. Because of the sole dependence on personalised modes of transport like taxis and private cars, the airport area witnesses traffic jams. “There has also been a tremendous change in profiles of air passengers in the last three to four years. So, the Metro link is more than necessary,” said B K Sadhu, state’s chief traffic and transportation engineer.
Metro Railway chief operations manager J K Mitra said, “There is a tremendous demand for extending the route till the airport.”
NEW TRACKS
Metro Railway wants to extend the existing northsouth network to the airport. The existing metro Noapara carshed would be converted into a new station
An underground Metro corridor from there would meet the existing railway tracks somewhere near the Dum Dum Cantonment station and go on to the airport. The final station, instead of terminating 1 km away from the airport, could run almost up to the domestic terminal
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"We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. The wind is blowing; those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not…. Is that the fault of the wind?" - Swami Vivekananda.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 06:05 AM   #92
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43-km road to ring city, ease chaos on streets

from Times of India ePaper of 24-Jul-07

Quote:
43-km road to ring city, ease chaos on streets
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Kolkata: Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty on Monday announced the much-anticipated ring road project in the Assembly. The 43-km road would come up at an estimated cost of Rs 5,600 crore.
Replying to a question by RSP MLA Jane Alam Miya, the minister said the six-lane elevated ring road would start in Salt Lake and connect major establishments, including the Metro Railway, Circular Railway, Sealdah and Howrah stations, medical colleges, burning ghats, educational institutions and the Hooghly.
Later, speaking to the media in his Assembly chamber, the minister opened up about the proposed project. Chakraborty said a highway between Lake Town and the airport would be part of the ring road project, adding that the project would be implemented on a build operate transfer basis.
“We have shortlisted firms that sent bids in response to the global tender we had floated for the project. One foreign company has expressed keen interest in it,” Chakraborty said. The state government will soon select the firm that would execute the project and ask it to prepare a detailed project report, he explained.
“If we select the foreign construction company for this project, we will have to get a clearance from the Centre. The paper work will take some time. We can expect the DPR to be ready within a year,” he said. The minister hoped the project would be completed in two years.
The minister assured the House that the elevated ring road would ease traffic congestion in the city. “By 2050, the city will have no traffic congestion,” he said.
The state government is also planning a link road between Panihati, on the northern fringe of the city, and Joka in the south. “It will take three years to complete it. We have taken up this project and initiated talks with the Centre for funding it,” he added. The Centre, however, is yet to clear this project as well as another ambitious project for upgrading Kolkata’s transport infrastructure — the East-West Metro corridor from Howrah to Salt Lake.
“These projects are yet to get final clearance from the Centre,” Chakraborty said. He added that the East-West Metro corridor could be completed by 2014. A stretch of this ambitious project will pass under the Hooghly.
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"We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. The wind is blowing; those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not…. Is that the fault of the wind?" - Swami Vivekananda.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 06:13 AM   #93
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From cruise to crawl, courtesy traffic volume

I wonder when this flyover and many other proposed flyovers would come into reality

from Times of India ePaper of 24-Jul-07

Quote:
From cruise to crawl, courtesy traffic volume
Suman Chakraborti | TNN

Kolkata: Some four to five years ago, it used to take a few minutes to cross the 500-metre stretch from Salt Lake’s PNB junction to Ultadanga. The same stretch now takes almost 30 minutes during rush hour.
Ten years ago, with fewer private vehicles, traffic flow in the city was relatively smooth with no major congestion at key intersections like Ultadanga or Prince Anwar Shah connector near the upcoming South City project.
But now these same spots have become a drivers’ nightmare with an abnormal spurt in traffic. According to KMDA estimates, the traffic volume in the city is growing at a rate of 2.5% per annum and the effect is mostly felt at key city intersections.
According to a Kolkata Police traffic estimate, the city tops the metros with the highest number of vehicles per kilometre of road length. The car count in the city has been estimated at 1.2 million approximately. On December 31, 2002, the total number of vehicles was 8,21,188. Two years later, the number shot up to 9,41,722.
Even a few years ago, traffic flow at the Hudco crossing in Ultadanga was smooth. “Now, the stretch has become chaotic during peak office hours. Residents like us face problems in even bringing out our vehicles on the road as it gets choked,” said Sudhir Dey, a local resident. KMDA will soon construct a 490-metre flyover connecting EM Bypass with VIP Road that will divert all airportbound vehicles.
Then, there is the Sealdah junction. Here, the traffic movement is slow even in the afternoons and night. “I used to live in Delhi and have just shifted to Kolkata. For the last one month, I have been travelling from Barasat to Esplanade by train to avoid the city roads. For the first time, I boarded a bus and had to pass the Sealdah junction last Saturday. It took nearly 40 minutes to pass the stretch,” said Kousik Mukherjee, who works in a private firm in Dalhousie.
The Prince Anwar Shah Road junction is turning out to be another traffic bottleneck. And, it will become worse when residents start moving in after the South City project is completed. “To tackle the tremendous traffic volume that is going to be generated soon, plans are afoot to construct a flyover that would divert the South City-bound traffic,” said an official of KMDA’s traffic and transportation sector.
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"We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. The wind is blowing; those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not…. Is that the fault of the wind?" - Swami Vivekananda.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #94
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News on deep Sea Port

Thanks Civitas for the Info

Some news on the proposed Deep Sea Port
Source: Business-Standard.com
Quote:
PPP model likely for Bengal deep sea port

Animesh Singh / New Delhi July 24, 2007



In what could be a major thrust to the public-private partnership model, the shipping ministry is mulling over a proposal to run the proposed greenfield deep sea port in West Bengal with private sector participation.

The ministry, which is in the process of selecting a consultant for the project, is thinking of giving the task of developing and managing the berths and terminals to private parties once the consultant selects the location and commissions the port.

The port, which will have the capacity to handle 50 million tonnes of traffic, will need Rs 2,000 crore. Only around six of the 12 Indian major ports can handle this much traffic. The most significant aspect of the port will be a draft (depth) of around 16 metres.

Sources in the shipping ministry said the government would develop and control the rail and road links to the port.

The ministry has shortlisted seven overseas parties to appoint as a consultant, which will be associated with the project from the stage of selection of the location till the commissioning of the port.

West Bengal needs a deep sea port as the Kolkata and Haldia ports are riverine ports, which, due to their location on the river Hugli, require dredging regularly. Ministry sources said the state government proposed the development of a deep sea port as these two could not could not handle large vessels and container carriers.

Also, the Haldia port does not have a deep draft, which is a must, as the capacity of ships is increasing. Due to the draft limitations, the vessels have to pay a heavy load penalty.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram, while presenting the Budget, had announced the government’s plan to appoint a consultant to examine the feasibility of a deep sea port in West Bengal.

A sum of Rs 10 crore was allocated for this.

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Old July 24th, 2007, 09:43 AM   #95
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Flights to Singapore and Middle East likely

Some good news for Calcuttans lately


Source: TOI Epaper

Quote:
Kolkata-Singapore flights on AI radar
Subhro Niyogi & Arpit Basu | TNN
Kolkata: The Air India top brass is finally waking up to Kolkata’s potential as a takeoff point for South-East Asia’s hot spots.
Sources said AI could ride on the wings of its low-cost arm — Air India Express — to introduce a slew of flights to Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai and Sharjah. AI is also eyeing a six-days-a-week service to Dhaka. At present, the flag bearer runs a thrice-weekly service on the Delhi-Dhaka-Kolkata-London sector.
The first AI Express service from Kolkata could take off as early as September — to Bangkok and Singapore. The frequency is expected to be three times a week. Both flights could originate in Dhaka and stop over at Kolkata before departing for the destination.
“Though a formal decision is awaited, we expect connectivity to Bangkok and Singapore on alternate days,” a source said. Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong —not connected to Kolkata at present — are also on the carrier’s radar. Flights to Dubai and Sharjah are expected at a later date.
The Air India Express service has been pending for over a year and a half now. Senior AI officials had hinted at it in late 2005 during the introduction of the Kolkata-London flight. Travel Agents Federation of India chairman (east) Anil Punjabi said the AI Express flights would boost connectivity to the east and help Kolkata develop into a hub for South-East Asia-bound traffic.
“AI has placed orders for 18 Boeing 737-800W aircraft to be used by the subsidiary airline. New flights and frequencies will be ramped up once the 181-seater aircraft are delivered,” an official said.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 10:05 PM   #96
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IT products SEZ proposed on outskirts of Kolkata


R.P. Infosystems Pvt Ltd, manufacturers of the Chirag brand of personal computers (PCs), has proposed an IT products-specific SEZ on the outskirts of Kolkata. An application in this regard has already been made to the Union Ministry of Commerce.

According to Mr Kaustav Ray, Chairman of the company, 46 acres has already been acquired for the purpose. The entire area would be used for implementing R.P. Infosystems’ backward integration projects. Besides making components for its own requirements, units at the SEZ would manufacture components for other OEM brands and for the assembled PC segment as well. A phased investment of Rs 1,000 crore would be made in the proposed SEZ over a five-year period.

Mr Ray said that, currently, the company sources its computer hardware and components on CKD basis from firms in Taiwan and China. Its three factories are located at Howrah (West Bengal), Parwanoo ( Himachal Pradesh) and Barapani (Meghalaya).
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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:18 AM   #97
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Green light for ferry

The ferry service in the Kestopur canal will resume on August 5. A team of officials from various agencies involved in the project will conduct a trial run on Friday.

The decision was formalised on Tuesday at a meeting attended by representatives of Hidco, transport department, police and fire service, as well as the chairmen of the Bidhannagar, Rajarhat and North and South Dum Dum municipalities.

The West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation will operate the service, for which Hidco has earmarked Rs 30 crore. The money will be spent on buying four launches, dredging the canal, constructing five jetties, and arranging power supply and other facilities.

The service on the 6.4-km stretch — between Chitpur and Baisakhi — will continue from 8am to 6pm. During rush hours in the morning and evening, the launches will ply at an interval of 35 minutes.

The stops on the route are Chitpur, RG Kar, Ultadanga, Lake Town and Baisakhi. The service will be extended to Rajarhat — with stops at Tank No. 8 (in Salt Lake), Nayapatti and New Town — after two months. The fares will range from Rs 3 to Rs 5.

The ferry service was started on an experimental basis in September last year, but was discontinued after the canal was found unsuitable for navigation. During the first trial run on August 8, two launches carrying ministers and bureaucrats got stuck in the silt near Ultadanga.

The VIPs had to get off the vessels midway and irrigation department officials had to face the wrath of housing minister Goutam Deb for not desilting the canal properly.

Sadhan Das, the former irrigation secretary and technical adviser to the Hidco chairman, downplayed the incident on Tuesday.

“The launch used in the trial run was too big and heavy for the Kestopur canal. The 63-ft-long vessel was of the type that plies in the Sunderbans. This time, we’re deploying 42-ft-long launches which can carry 50 passengers each,” he said. The launches will be flat-bottomed.

The civic chairmen expressed the fear that the ferry service would raise the water level in the Kestopur canal and affect the city’s drainage system.

Hidco officials, however, did not agree with the view. “Water from Bagjola canal now drains into Kestopur canal. We explained to the chairmen that water would continue to flow into Kestopur canal even after the launches start plying.”

http://www.telegraphindia.com/107072...ry_8101587.asp
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Old July 26th, 2007, 07:55 AM   #98
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One More Steel PLant

Source: Expressindia.com

Quote:
Steel major to set up Rs 16,000-cr industry hub

Express News Service

Kolkata, July 25: Steel manufacturers Jai Balaji Group will invest Rs 16,000 crore to set up a steel plant, a cement manufacturing unit and a captive power plant at Raghunathpur in Purulia district, minister for commerce and industries Nirupam Sen today said in the state Assembly.

In a written statement, the minister said, while the steel plant will have an annual capacity of 50 lakh tonne, the cement unit will produce 30 lakh tonne annually. The captive power plant will produce 1,250 mw power annually.



In the first phase, which is expected to be completed in three years the steel plant will produce 20 lakh tonne annually while the cement factory will produce 10 lakh tonnes every year. The power plant will have a capacity of 400 mw during the first phase for which the total investment will be Rs 8,000 crore.

For the project the company has sought 4,000 acre of land and the state government has started identifying land at Raghunathpur. “The land is fallow and has no irrigation project going on in it. The district administration as well as the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) have started identifying the land and once it is over, the government will start acquiring the land. In some cases proposals for buying the land directly from farmers are being considered,’’ the statement mentioned.

While the Balaji group will bring iron ore from other states for the project, the state government will help the group procure the required quantity of coal. The state will also help it arrange water for the project, the statement mentioned.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 08:00 AM   #99
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Kolkata to improve transport infra

Quote:
The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority is planning to take up projects recommended by the Kolkata Metropolitan Planning Committee to improve transport infrastructure in the city.
The projects, including laying and widening of roads, will be taken up in the phase-I of the plan. The total cost is estimated at Rs 4,000 crore and work will be compete by 2025.
The PWD, irrigation department and the Kolkata Metropolitan Water & Sanitation Authority will assist KMDA. The manority of funds will come under JNNURM. Arteri roads include an expressway from NH-34 to Baruipur Road and Salt Lake Bypass from EM Bypass to VIP Road
Source:http://www.projectsmonitor.com/detai...14143&secid=80
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Old July 28th, 2007, 10:44 AM   #100
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Ferry trial run on Kestopur canal

Another trial run from Bagbazar to Baisakhi of the Chitpore-Kestopur Canal ferry service was held on Friday. This time, the boat did not get stuck in the muck as it did on its maiden venture, but there are several ifs and buts that will decide the fate of this ambitious project.

Mechanics said they had to use more acceleration to plough through the sludge. While navigating in the river, the propeller of the launch revolves at 1,000 RPM (revolution per minute). But on Friday, the navigator had to run the propeller at 1,300 RPM.

"There is still a lot of sludge and we were apprehensive that the propeller will get stuck. The condition will only worsen after the monsoon. For now, the sludge is diluted by rain to a great extent," said a mechanic on the launch.

Much needs to be done on the stretch between Bagbazar and Baisakhi. Only a small part of the banks has been concretised. Bidhannagar Municipality chairman Biswajiban Majumder was present to assess the condition of the banks. Police have already evicted some slum-dwellers but further eviction is left.

Notwithstanding these flaws, the transport department is going to relaunch the service on Sunday. The ferry service will start from Bagbazar at 8 am everyday and the last launch will leave at 6 pm.

"A Rs 30-crore beautification project by HIDCO is in the pipeline. All the shanties will be done away with," said Sumantra Choudhury, state transport secretary, who was present. The authorities had faced an embarrassment during last year’s trial run when the launch, carrying ministers Goutam Deb, got stuck near Ultadanga. The ferry service was inaugurated by the chief minister last September.

The service was stopped after three months to facilitate further dredging. According to plans, the service will be extended up to the Kulti crossing within two years.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/K...ow/2239877.cms
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