The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Friday sealed an agreement with the West Bengal government to build four smart cities in the state.
Dr Saugat Mukherjee, regional director, CII Eastern Region, and Sutanu Prasad Kar, mission director, Smart Cities Mission of West Bengal, signed the MoU during a Roundtable on CII National Mission on Smart Cities.
As per the agreement, CII will work with the state’s urban development department and other stakeholders in developing the vision, setting goals and charting strategies on how to transform Bidhan Nagar, New Town-Rajarhat, Haldia and Durgapur, the four urban locations in West Bengal, into world-class smart cities.
CII will also collaborate with the state government in terms of mobilising industry expertise and resources, the release said.
Top municipal and state government officials and senior executives from various companies took part.
The West Bengal government’s plans for six theme-based greenfield townships received a welcome boost as WB Finance and Industries Minister Dr Amit Mitra met technology biggies at the IT capital of India and chalked out a formula to bring in a synergy with smarter solutions for the developers.
“Town-makers and developers want smarter solutions to their big projects, while IT majors wish to get involved with the new townships. We, the government, would tell them to work together and create real smart and thematic townships–futuristic cities with sustainable solutions,“ Dr Mitra said.
Dr Mitra on Tuesday met tech honchos of 24 companies, such as Cisco, HP, PwC, Accenture and 3M, at the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangalore. Cisco is claimed to have evinced interest in investing in e-schooling, eHealth and street lighting in the theme-based township projects.
The six townships, Agnibina, Sports City , Teesta, Uttam City, Gitabitan and Samriddhi, will be put on the block through e-auction and global tendering process. A consortium of developers rom the UK, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and some private equi y players firms are interested in nvesting in intelligent and lowcost housing. “Almost all will go to Global Bengal Summit,“ Dr Mitra said. The developers’ consortium, represented by S Yasir Rizvi of Canopy and Ricardo Gontijo of Directional, told they would hold a recce during the Summit.
Dr Mitra said 250-odd entrepreneurs attended the meetings on Tuesday. He said 70 Karnataka firms and others will discuss investing in Bengal in the next few months and at the summit.
Six new townships will be coming up in West Bengal, providing homes to middle class and the poorer section of the society. To be built under PPP model, there will be 25% reservation for the poor section for availing flats in these cities. The land required to set up these cities will be provided from the Land Bank of the West Bengal Government.
The townships will come up at Asansol-Durgapur, Bolpur, Siliguri, Kalyani, Kamalgazi and Gazoldoba.
The township at Asansol-Durgapur will be named Agnibina, that in Bolpur will be christened Geetabitan. The township in Siliguri will be called Teesta, the one in Kalyani will be known as Samriddha. The one in Kamalgazi will be called Uttam City while that in Gazoldoba will be known as Mukta Tirtha.
The site for another city, christened Biswa Bangla, is to be decided soon.
The cities will be complete with hospitals, sports complexes and all other modern facilities.