The West Bengal Government has come up with the terms and conditions that developers and investors should follow for the proposed theme-based townships. The new township policy focuses on economic activities and providing housing for all.
According to the guidelines, 25% of the land in a proposed township has to be set aside for the thematic or economic development, for which builders will be selected through e-auction. The developers will have to follow town planning norms, civic laws, environment laws and the national building code for constructions. Besides, 25% of residential units have to be reserved for the poor. While selecting developers, the authorities will check their efficiency, years of experience in handling similar projects and financial strength.
The State Urban Development Department will be the central agency for the six proposed theme-based townships and the West Bengal Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation will be the state-level nodal agency to assist investors.
Developers will not have to scout for land as the townships will be developed on identified state land. Besides, selected developers will get speedy approvals and clearances at the state level.
A total of 447 acres have been identified for the six proposed townships in Kalyani, Bolpur, Dabgram, Asansol, Dumurjala and Baruipur.
A meeting with prospective investors is slated for July 10 when state officials will brief them on the concept. The State is hoping for optimum utilization of land where state-of-the-art facilities will be set up, along with housing for all.
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.
Keeping up with its smart city initiatives, the state government is now working on plans to develop an `Analytics City’ near Kolkata to woo reputable IT firms dealing in data analysis. It will have the infrastructure of a smart city with residential and commercial complexes and other facilities.
The proposal of developing such a theme-based city was earlier mooted by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). Discussions have been held with state urban development officials on the proposal.
The state government is already working on plans to develop a number of ‘theme-based’ townships and cities. Places like Bolpur, Kalyani, Asansol, Dumurjala, Baruipur and Debgram has been identified for such theme-based townships and a number of real estate developers have also shown interest to build these theme cities.
Besides, the state government is also working on plans to develop smart cities, keeping New Town, where a number of initiatives have already been taken, on top of the list.