June 13, 2015
Bengal cabinet clears deck for developing six theme cities
West Bengal cabinet on Friday cleared the deck for developing six modern cities in the state.
Speaking to the press after the cabinet meeting, state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim said the location for six modern cities had already been finalised. The Cabinet had even named all the six proposed cities according to choice and importance of the place, he said adding they would have modern facilities for decent living.
Naming the theme cities
Speaking about the smart cities, Hakim said one would come up over 85 acres at Dabgram near Siliguri and would be called ‘Teesta’ after the name of a major river in north Bengal. Another city would come up near Bolpur in Birbhum district over 127 acres and christened ‘Gitabitan’ after a popular compilation of songs by Rabindranath Tagore.
A third city over 50 acres would come up near the twin industrial towns of Asansol-Durgapur covering Churulia, birth place of the poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. It would be named ‘Agnibina’, after the name of a collection of poems by the rebel poet. One more city would come up near Kalyani, developed by erstwhile chief minister Bidhan Chandra Roy, in Nadia district over 50 acres and would be known as ‘Samriddhi’.
Another city, which is yet to be named, would come up at Dumurjala in neighbouring Howrah district over 50 acres. The sixth smart city would come up at Baruipur in the southern outskirt of the metropolis over 86 acres and would be named after the famed Bengal matinee idol Uttam Kumar, the minister said.
Allotment of land
In all cases the state government has adequate land and would be developed by the state urban development department, Hakim said. Besides, the state government would also develop some thematic private township over land within ceiling at different places in the state.
The themes could range from knowledge, sports and IT and the townships would be developed by various wings of the department like HIDCO and KMDA, he said.
Hakim hoped that the projects would bring in huge investment and create a lot of employment opportunity. In all cases there would be 25 per cent reservations for the economically weaker sections.