Administrative reforms of the Urban Development Department

The State Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Department has undertaken several administrative reforms over the last seven years of the Trinamool Congress Government to make the municipal authorities more effective, responsive and vibrant.

The primary reforms are as follows:

Ease of Doing Business: An online system for payment of property tax on land and buildings in municipal cities has been launched on a pilot basis in ten municipalities. It will gradually be extended to other urban local bodies.

Amendment of West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993: An amendment has been made to empower executive officers and finance officers of municipalities in order to strengthen municipal administration.

Parastatals have been restructured, like merging the State Urban Development Agency and Change Management Unit to support the urban local bodies in a coordinated manner and reorganising Kolkata Municipal Development Authority (KMDA) by merging Kolkata Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Authority (KMWSA) and Kolkata Improvement Trust (KIT).

Ensuring use of proper plastic: Legislation has been made for banning the use of and disposal of plastic of improper thickness within municipal areas.

Safety of residents of old buildings: Through the introduction of the section 412A in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act, the KMC can now enforce owners of dilapidated buildings to reconstruct the buildings for the safety of the residents.

Environment-friendly building rules: An amendment has been made to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Building Rules, 2009, by incorporating additional floor area ratio (FAR) in respect of green and other categories of buildings.

A similar amendment has been made to the West Bengal Municipal Building Rules, 2007 for the other municipal bodies of the State. In both cases, an additional FAR of 10 per cent for green buildings and 15 per cent for mass housing projects, hospitals, IT office buildings, mega commercial projects, etc. have been granted.

Unit area-based assessment of property tax: Amendments have been made in the KMC Act and the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993 to bring about unit area-based assessment of property tax in the areas under Kolkata Municipal Corporation and in other municipal areas of the State, respectively.

Pollution-control measures during Durga Puja immersion

To prevent pollution of river water, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to set up a boundary with nylon nets around certain zones along the Hooghly river where immersions of Durga idols would take place.

The nets would prevent the idols and decorations from floating away, which would then be picked up by cranes employed by the KMC.

This technique will be used at the immersion points of Baje Kadamtala Ghat, Judges Court Ghat and Nimtala Ghat. The first one is where most of the big Pujas conduct their immersions.

Source: Aajkaal

Now, free umbrellas for school students

After uniforms and shoes, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has now decided to give umbrellas and raincoats to school students.

The decision would be of great help as poor students, many of whom study in the KMC schools, cannot afford umbrellas of their own, and so often have to miss classes during the rainy season. Umbrellas would be of help during the hot summer months too.

According to the head of the Education Department of the civic body, more than 35,000 students would be getting the umbrellas.


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KMC inducts 5 mobile medical units

Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) inducted five mobile medical units recently with the aim of ensuring the reach of healthcare facilities to even the remotest corners of the city. Sixty wards have been identified which would be serviced by these mobile facilities.

The mobile medical units will have all the facilities of the KMC’s health units, and will be equipped with a doctor, a pharmacist, a laboratory technician, a pathologist and a driver-cum-helper. They will cater to both communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Along with mobile healthcare facilities, the corporation also inaugurated advanced pathological tests at its health units. The tests will include blood tests to detect kidney-related ailments, liver function tests and cholesterol tests. Also, importantly, these expensive tests will be done for free.

Six such centres for advanced tests have been opened, for ward numbers 11, 36, 62, 57, 96 and 132. These centres will soon be opened at the KMC’s 15 dengue detection centres too.

Source: Millennium Post

KMC to introduce computers in its schools

Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will soon introduce computer education in its schools. The syllabus in this regard has already been prepared by the Education Department of the civic body.

The Member Mayor-in-Council (MMiC) Education said that the syllabus has been framed in accordance with the computer syllabus of the State primary schools that are run by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education. Also, the syllabus has been prepared in three languages: Hindi, Bengali and English.

The KMC plans to start computer education in nearly 50 schools at first and then proceed further.

 Source: Millennium Post

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KMC adopts new policy of tree plantation

Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has adopted a new policy on tree plantation. As part of the policy, trees which do not get uprooted easily during storms would be planted across Kolkata, which include fruit-bearing trees, flower-bearing trees as well as woody trees.

Trees having this specific quality are already present in many places. With the help of this new policy, though, many more such trees would be planted.

According to the new policy, the civic body’s Parks Department will plant arjun, chhatim, bakul, jarul and mahogany, which need comparatively less space too, as well as fruit-bearing trees like mango, jamun, guava, litchi and jamrul, which also help counter pollution.

As part of new tree plantation policy too, in order to conserve Kolkata’s green cover, KMC will be distributing saplings to the citizens for free. The saplings will be sourced from the many nurseries that KMC runs. Any citizen who has enough land in and around the house can approach their concerned borough office and collect saplings.

Source: The Times of India

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Blood donation – Efforts and infrastructure in Bengal

The Trinamool Congress Government has always stressed on the need for voluntary donation of blood. Through the year the party conducts, through its various frontal organisations and wings, blood donation camps across all the districts, including in Kolkata.

The State Government also encourages various clubs, NGOs and even corporate to organise and participate in blood donation efforts.

At certain times of the year, like during the hot summer months, there is an extra need for blood. Hence during this time more camps are organised.

During the sixth anniversary celebrations of the Trinamool Congress Government last year, a blood donation camp was organised at the state secretariat, Nabanna on May 27. Similar camps were organised in all the districts, down to the panchayat level, and also at police stations. Various clubs had also participated.

The State Government has also been steadily improving the infrastructure of blood banks. Last October, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had inaugurated three more blood banks – two in south Bengal and one in the north. The blood banks were set up in Panskura in Purba Medinipur district, Gopiballavpur in Paschim Medinipur district and Chanchal in Malda district. All the three are located inside multi super-speciality hospitals, a brainchild of the Chief Minister.

With the completion of these three, the number of State Government-run blood banks has risen to 70. Combined with private blood banks, the total number is 131.

To cater to the increasing demand for blood components, like plasma, platelets, etc., the Government set up four more platelet separation units last year – at Nadia and Asansol District Hospitals, Cooch Behar MGN Hospital and Murshidabad Medical College Hospital – bringing the total number of component separation units in State Government hospitals to 17.

Then, information about supplies of blood in the blood banks of Bengal, be they Government or private – how many units of which blood group are available – can now be had online. This service, called e-raktkosh, [may hyperlink] facilitated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was also inaugurated last year.

Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has also set up its first blood bank – at 242, Kalighat Road. This step is meant to help not only the city residents but people from all over the State, especially the poor, who cannot afford high prices.

Kolkata’s first floating solar power project at Bikramgarh Lake

The State Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources Department and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) are together going to implement a unique project – Kolkata’s first floating solar power plant.

The power generating solar photovoltaic (PV) cells are going to be placed on the waters of Bikramgarh Lake in Golf Green in the southern part of the city.

The full project, which includes beautification of the lake, would cost Rs 4 crore. According to State Government sources, the power generated by the solar PV cells would lead to the saving (over conventional generation costs) of about Rs 40.5 crore.

The project would cover an area of 1 acre of the 7.3 acres that the lake is spread over. The rows of cells would be placed on a network of pipes, which would be balanced on the surface of the water with anchors lying at the bottom of the lake.

Preliminary work for setting up the power plant has already started. Echo sounding is being used to measure the depth of the lake and bathymetry is being used to map the lake floor.

বিক্রমগড় ঝিলে হবে কলকাতার প্রথম ভাসমান সৌরবিদ্যুৎ প্রকল্প

পানাপুকুরেই সৌরবিদ্যুৎ! সেই বিদ্যুৎ যাবে ঘরে ঘরে। সাউথ সিটির পিছনে সাড়ে তিন একরের বিক্রমগড় ঝিলে তৈরী হবে শহরের প্রথম ভাসমান সৌরবিদ্যুৎ প্রকল্প। এই অভিনব পরিকল্পনা নিয়েছে কলকাতা পুরসভা ও রাজ্য বিদ্যুৎ দপ্তর। সব কিছু ঠিকঠাক চললে ৩০০ কিলোওয়াটের এই প্রকল্পটিই দেশের সবথেকে ক্ষমতাসম্পন্ন সৌরবিদ্যুৎ প্রকল্পের নজির গড়বে বলে জানা গেছে। এখানে উৎপাদিত বিদ্যুৎ কিনবে সিইএসসি।

এপ্রিলে প্রকল্পের টেন্ডার প্রক্রিয়া শুরু হবে। কাজ শুরু হবে মে মাস থেকে। ঝিলের সৌন্দর্যায়ন ও সৌরপ্রকল্প মিলিয়ে খরচ হবে প্রায় ৪ কোটি টাকা। বছরে প্রায় সাড়ে ৪০ লক্ষ টাকার বিদ্যুৎ সাশ্রয় হবে এই প্রকল্পে। রাতে সৌরবিদ্যুতের আলোয় ঝলমল করবে ঝিল–চত্বর। পর্যায়ক্রমে ঝিল–সংলগ্ন ফাঁকা জমিতে সৌন্দর্যায়নের কাজ শুরু হবে।

‘ইকোসাউন্ডিং’ পদ্ধতিতে জলের গভীরতা মাপা হয়েছে। পুরসভার বিপর্যয় মোকাবিলা বিভাগের নৌকোয় করে ‘ব্যাথিমেট্রি’ পদ্ধতিতে জলের তলার ছবি তৈরির কাজও শেষ।ঝিলের মাঝখানে জলের গভীরতা রয়েছে সাড়ে তিন ফুট। এই অংশের এক একরের মধ্যেই হবে প্রকল্পটি। পাইপের কাঠামোর ওপর ভাসমান থাকবে সৌরবিদ্যুতের প্যানেল।

মাটির তলায় নোঙর কাঠামোটিকে ধরে রাখবে। ঝিলে বসবাসকারী জলজ প্রাণীদের যাতে কোনও সমস্যা না হয়, সেদিকেও খেয়াল রাখা হচ্ছে। তিনি বলেন, রক্ষণাবেক্ষণের জন্য মাঝখানে একটি সেতু ও ওয়াকওয়ে তৈরি হবে ঝিলের চারিদিকে।

Source: Aajkaal

KMC machines to replace manual cleaning of drains

In a move sure to bring cheer to both workers and activists, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to pumps and other machinery in order to do away with the manual cleaning of drains.

Trinamool Congress has always been vociferous about abolishing manual scavenging, and this move would add to that effort.

Several of the machines required for cleaning the underground sewage pipelines have already been bought. According to the mayor, the KMC wants to start the cleaning process well before monsoon.

ড্রেন পরিষ্কার করতে এবার যন্ত্র ব্যবহার করবে কলকাতা পুরসভা

ড্রেন পরিষ্কার করতে এবার থেকে পাম্প ও অন্যান্য যন্ত্র ব্যবহার করবে কলকাতা পুরসভা। এবার থেকে আর কর্মীদের ড্রেন পরিষ্কার করতে হবে না।

তৃণমূল কংগ্রেস চিরকালই মানুষের মাধ্যমে নালা পরিষ্কার করানোর (যাকে বলা হয় ম্যানুয়াল স্ক্যাভেনজিং) বিরোধী, এই উদ্যোগের ফলে সেই লক্ষ্যে আরও কিছুটা অগ্রসর হওয়া যাবে।

ভূগর্ভস্থ পাইপলাইনের ময়লা পরিষ্কার করতে প্রয়োজনীয় যন্ত্রের বেশীর ভাগ কেনা হয়ে গেছে। কলকাতার মহানাগরিক জানিয়েছেন আগামী বর্ষার আগেই এই কাজ শুরু হয়ে যাবে।

Source: The Statesman

Bengal Govt to set up in Kolkata its first crematorium for pets

The Bengal Government is planning to set up its first crematorium for pets near Armenian Ghat in Kolkata.

The Animal Resources Development Department is going to set it up at an approximate cost of Rs 25 lakh. Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will extend technical support to complete the project.

A small electrical furnace will be set up initially where dogs, cats and other small animals will be cremated. A second furnace will be set up later on.


রাজ্য সরকারের উদ্যোগে আর্মেনিয়ান ঘাটের কাছে রাজ্যের প্রথম পশু শ্মশান

আর্মেনিয়ান ঘাটের কাছে রাজ্য সরকারের উদ্যোগে তৈরী হতে চলেছে পশুদের শ্মশান।

প্রাণী সম্পদ উন্নয়ন দপ্তর এই শ্মশান তৈরী করবে আনুমানিক ২৫ লক্ষ টাকা ব্যয়ে। এই প্রকল্পে কারিগরি সহায়তা করবে কলকাতা পুরসভা।

একটি ইলেকট্রিক চুল্লি তৈরী করা হবে মৃত কুকুর, বেড়াল ও অন্যান্য পোষ্যদের অন্ত্যেষ্টি ক্রীয়ার জন্য। পরবর্তীকালে আরও একটি চুল্লি তৈরী করা হবে।


Source: Millennium Post