July 8, 2015
Bengal to present theme towns to investors in the UK
The West Bengal government is planning to project six theme townships in the state as potential destinations for British investment to back West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee’s visit to the UK later this month to woo investors.
Each of these theme townships will focus on specific sectors like healthcare, industry and culture. While Siliguri in North Bengal has been picked as healthcare and education hub, Baruipur in South 24 Parganas district will have geriatrics care as its theme.
Dumurjola in Howrah district has been identified for sports, Kalyani in Nadia district for analytics, Asansol in Burdwan district for industry and Santiniketan in Birbhum district, famous for the Tagore connection, for culture. With less than 20 days left for the WB CM’s flight to take off, state officials are busy giving final touches to the projects.
The theme townships will create a welcome opportunity for smooth investment in a state where land acquisition has been a major obstacle for industrialisation. The officials said the land in these townships belongs to the state government and there is no need for acquisition. Since the major obstacle of land has been resolved, we hope for a positive response.
The theme townships will be urban clusters with a concentration of projects woven around a central theme. To make things easy, all necessary infrastructures will come up at the specified locations.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is also expected to present a video of the six proposed theme-based smart cities in West Bengal when she goes to London at the end of July. The video will be part of a documentary the State team will showcase at various business events in the UK. State government officials are busy finalising the project details to showcase the theme cities.
Last month, the state government had cleared the decks to set up six modern townships based on different themes. The concept of developing theme-based cities is new in this country. A theme city is an urban cluster with a concentration of projects woven round the central theme.
The theme townships provide an excellent opportunity to businessmen for making smooth investments since no land is needed to be acquired. The land for these townships is owned by the State Government.
To make the projects successful, the State Government plans to give non-monetary incentives, such as single-window clearance and relaxation norms for floor area ratio. A global invitation will be floated and the e-auction process will take place before Durga Puja.
The London visit is Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s most crucial initiative this year to attract investments. In August last year, she had visited Singapore with a business delegation, that has resulted in a lot of positive interest in the State.