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  #101  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2009, 6:45 AM
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Govt sees more profit in land auction

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The state urban development department is not keen on accommodating the two IT giants — Wipro and Infosys — in town, despite the fact that it has a few hundred acres of land around the city. The department instead is interested in auctioning the land, which it thinks will fetch more funds.
Things, however, may change if chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee decides to the contrary.
KMDA officials concede that earnings from the handover of land to IT companies will be nowhere close to proceeds from an auction. All land records were broken in 2005 when an acre-wide plot off EM Bypass sold for Rs 33 crore for a five-star hotel project. “IT companies as big as Infosys or Wipro, which require more than 60 acres to set up their units, will not pay more than a maximum of Rs 3-4 crore per acre. Government agencies such as KMDA and KMC have found that it is far more lucrative to sell plots for real estate projects than for IT hub projects,” an official said.
In fact, KMDA had originally planned to hand over the 100 acres it has at Nonadanga for the creation of an IT hub. But after realizing that a lot more revenue could be earned by bidding the plot, it planned to have a business park on the land. The bidding process for the project was scheduled in late 2007. But the authorities stepped back as the economic slowdown had set in. The land is yet to be sold.
In such circumstances, it is only in Rajarhat — which is under the jurisdiction of Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) — where the price of an acre of land is fixed around Rs 1.9 crore for commercial projects. Hidco chairman and housing minister Gautam Deb has expressed interest in allotting 10 acres each to Infosys and Wipro in New Town. But IT industry officials are sceptical about the proposal, saying none of the two companies would possibly settle for so little land when they were asking for 90 acres each in Rajarhat.
Land available in Rajarhat falls under Bhangar-Rajarhat Area Development Authority (Brada). But after the Vedic Village land row, developers are likely to be cautious about buying a plot there unless the government comes up with a transparent process of handing over plots. Also, with Brada not fixing a price for land in its jurisdiction, auctioning plots seems a much more viable option.
KMDA has around 250 acres in and around the city. It has lost track of some 150 acres and is trying to retrieve the same. Also, there are around 33 small plots measuring 20-30 cottahs each, which are lying unutilized in Sector V.
Courtesy : Times of India
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  #102  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2009, 3:41 PM
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Bangkok Firm May Invest in Ring Road

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Representatives of a private company from Bangkok — with a partner in Hyderabad — made a presentation before state transport minister Ranjit Kundu on the ambitious ring road project on Monday.
The project, costing a whopping Rs 8,250 crore, is being discussed for the past two years. But the government is finding it extremely tough to push it further.
State transport department officials are tightlipped about the amount the company would invest and how much of the total cost it would meet. But they conceded that a system needs to be evolved in order to make them raise the cost. A toll might be imposed on the road to raise the cost. Moreover, it is also to be decided on how the remaining cost would be arranged.
The elevated ring road would encircle the city, connecting Rajarhat, airport, Salt Lake, Shyambazar, Burrabazar, Howrah, Vidyasagar Setu, Behala, Tollygunge, Kalighat, Park Circus, Baghajatin, Dhapa at one go, covering a stretch of 40.3 km. The road has been planned as a six-lane one. Though the time to complete the project has been fixed at 48 months, it has not yet been decided when it would actually take off.
“We have not yet reached the stage of preparing the detailed project report. There are some hurdles that need to be sorted out first. But the private company is very keen to invest in the project,” a senior official said.
Courtesy : Times of India
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  #103  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2009, 5:38 PM
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Off EM Bypass | Upohar| 14 Towers

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  #104  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2009, 4:35 AM
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Diamond City South,Tollygunge

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  #105  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2009, 6:01 AM
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Ideal Enclave, New Town

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  #106  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2009, 9:16 AM
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West Bengal Should Provide Land For It Cos

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WEST BENGAL SHOULD PROVIDE LAND FOR IT COS
The Economic Times, 16 September, 2009,Kolkata

Nasscom — the apex body of the Indian IT industry — on Tuesday said the West Bengal government should provide contiguous land in Kolkata for large IT projects like Infosys and Wipro, which are keen to expand their businesses in the state.


Addressing Nasscom CEO meet, Nasscom president Som Mittal said: “The recent Vedic village disaster is a setback for the state. We are disappointed, but we are not giving up. At this juncture, we feel that both the state and the Central governments should play a positive role to find alternate ways to accommodate these large IT companies.”


However, Mittal made it clear that the land should be provided to large IT companies in Kolkata only. “First, we have to saturate Kolkata, then only we can think about other IT satellite townships in Durgapur and Siliguri. There is enough space in Kolkata, and large IT companies should get land there.”


On the land price issue, the Nasscom president made it clear that if some other state offers land at a lower price, why can’t West Bengal follow the same path. He said West Bengal has a huge talent pool, which can play a major role in sustaining growth of the Indian IT/BPO industry.“Building a viable eco-system is an imperative for the growth of the region. Focus on infrastructure development, enhancing the employability and enabling policy environment should be the key priorities for the state governments. Nasscom will continue to strength its initiatives in the eastern region,” said Mittal.
Source : The Economic Times
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  #107  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2009, 9:54 AM
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Burdwan Villagers Pressure CPM To Speed Up Acquisition For Industry

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Land acquisition may be a difficult proposition in West Bengal, but in this part of the state, the story is entirely different.
The CPM in Burdwan is under severe pressure — not because land is being taken over for industry, but just the opposite. Local people in and around Panagarh want the acquisition to take place faster.
Owners of plots under four mouzas — Kanksha, Pondali, Soyai and Shyamsundar, about 15 km from Durgapur and covering nearly 5,000 acre — had given petitions two years ago to the then DM for parting with their land as it’s not fertile.
With some parts of the area chosen for industrial projects, including an integrated steel plant and a power plant, the acquisition process has started in some of the mouzas, but not all. The ripple effect of Singur and Nandigram was felt here, too, and in the past 18 months, progress has been slow. But now, the district CPM has gone into a tizzy because farmers are pressuring them, saying they “do not want to be deprived” and want the land acquisition done quickly.
According to officials, the average market price of the land here is Rs 1.5-2 lakh per acre. But after a series of discussions with farmers and political parties, the price of land the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) is offering them has even gone up to Rs 10.8 lakh per acre in some places.
Source : Times of India
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  #108  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2009, 10:35 AM
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Missing link of Realty

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The scrapping of the 1,200-acre IT township next to Vedic Village has sent city developers scurrying to draw up demands for some fundamental chop and change to allow them safety nets in salvaging the brick-and-mortar industry, “the second-largest job creator in the state and anchor to 300 downstream industries”.

Credai Bengal is chalking out a three-pronged proposal document, based on success stories in other states, that will first be taken to the chambers of commerce and then to Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Mamata Banerjee.

The aim is to simplify things and give the realtor the option of not getting his hands dirty with land acquisition or burning his hands over failed government promises.

Credai document will demand: simplification of laws (urban land ceiling Act scrapped by most states to be relaxed/repealed) so that like in other states, land aggregators come into play; the government fix land price for all projects approved by it and administrative support to deal with local elements.
Source : The Telegraph
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  #109  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2009, 11:10 AM
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West Bengal housing minister Goutam Deb on Friday told the state CPM leadership he was ready to offer 10 acres each in Rajarhat to Wipro
and Infosys as alternative land following the scrapping of the IT township project.

Mr Deb announced his proposal at the CPM secretariat meeting on Friday. But since chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee did not attend the meeting, as he was stuck in Siliguri, the state party leadership did not take any decision on Mr Deb’s proposal.

Mr Deb later told reporters that he would discuss the issue with IT minister Debesh Das and “I am ready to inform Wipro and Infosys about our government’s plans to offer alternate land once the proposal given by me is cleared by the chief minister”.

Sources in the state IT department, however , said the two major IT giants may not agree to have 10 acres each as they wish to set up IT SEZs in order to get tax benefits from the government. “For SEZ status, the project needs to come up over at least 25 acres. Moreover, the two IT units are not interested in setting up towers, which they have said several times during past interactions . Instead, they want to set up their own campus,” said a senior official.

“To get the status of IT SEZ, both Wipro and Infosys would require at least 25 acres each and we don’t think our government’s proposal for 10 acres would be accepted by the two IT giants . However, if the chief minister ratifies the housing department’s proposal, the IT department will surely send the new proposal to Infosys and Wipro,” IT department sources said.
Source : Economic Times
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  #110  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2009, 1:12 PM
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WB govt didn't reject Wipro, Infosys proposals: CPM

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WB govt didn't reject Wipro, Infosys proposals: CPM
PTI 16 September 2009, 04:12pm IST

KOLKATA: The West Bengal government on Wednesday said it has not rejected proposals of IT majors Wipro and Infosys for setting up units near the
state capital.

The government had only scrapped the IT park which was to come up near the controversial Vedic Village resort, Left Front chairman Biman Bose told reporters after a LF meeting here.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told the meeting that the proposals of Wipro and Infosys had not been rejected, Bose said.

In April 2008, the state government had inked two MoUs-- one each with Infosys and Wipro--for setting up IT facilities, for which they had sought 90 acre each. While for Infosys would had been the first project, Wipro was planning a second one. A company had been floated for setting up an IT park near Vedic Village which now stands scrapped.

On results of Siliguri civic polls where the TC-Congress combine defeated LF to form the civic board, Bose said the Darjeeling Left Front has been asked to submit a report.

He said the TC-Congress combine had won by a difference of only 1.01 per cent.
Source : Times of India
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  #111  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2009, 1:50 AM
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CM seeks Rajarhat land for IT titans

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CM seeks Rajarhat land for IT titans
TNN 17 September 2009, 03:47am IST
KOLKATA: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee wants IT giants Wipro and Infosys to stay in Bengal. Bhattacharjee told Left Front partners on
Wednesday that the government will look for alternative land, somewhere in Rajarhat.

“The IT companies are asking for more land at considerable rates,” the CM told Left Front leaders at the meeting. He is likely to firm up his decision after CPM’s state committee meeting on Thursday.

State housing minister and party state secretariat member Gautam Deb has intimated to the CM that he was willing to accommodate the IT giants in New Town, and the land on offer would not be less than the 25 acres each required to set up an IT special economic zone (SEZ).

Deb has left it to the CM to decide the land price.

The rethink started after the IT companies conveyed to the CM that they were not interested in 10 acres — the initial offer that the Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) made to them in New Town. They wanted at least 25 acres and at rates below Rs 1.5 crore per acre.

In fact, the two IT companies had initially backed out of New Town as they felt the land price was too high, forcing the IT department to scout for land close to Vedic Village in Rajarhat and set up a IT township in a joint venture with private promoters.
Source : Times of India
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  #112  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2009, 3:07 PM
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City Center II

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  #113  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2009, 5:24 PM
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Landing at Kolkata Airport

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  #114  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2009, 7:02 PM
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Star Academy, Rajarhat(Proposed)

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  #115  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2009, 7:19 AM
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Housing complexes gear up for Shera Puja magic

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KOLKATA: Some will fly down from Washington, some from London, yet others from Delhi and Mumbai. Come puja, and every Bengali who can make it to
the celebrations in the city will be back where he/she belongs. And why not, puja celebrations in housing complexes have become an elaborate affair for the past few years.

In its sixth year, The Times of India Pujo Barir Shera Pujo presented by UCO Bank with Accord Advertising as outdoor partner has generated fresh enthusiasm among residents of participating housing complexes.

To many, apartment puja holds the same significance that barir puja once held for city households.
Come puja, and all residents no matter how busy they are in their professional lives for the rest of the year take out time to get together, plan themes and work out the logistics. Every little detail is looked into from pandal design and cultural programmes to planning the bhog menu the collective goal of residents is to ensure that their apartment puja is perfect in every way.

"Generally, kakimas and thakumas would visit pandals to perform duties that are assigned only to women. But now, everyone from the age of eight to 80 participates wholeheartedly," said actor Arindam Sil, festival committee convener of Lake District Puja in east Kolkata. This year, their theme is Bangali Bonediana.

Lake District will put up a large pandal depicting a thakurdalan of a zamindar household. "Besides, there will be a tea stall and one for muri and telebhaja. We will organize a competition to judge which housewife looks most beautiful in a traditional saree," Sil said.

The Pujo Barir Shera Pujo contest has also generated interest among the youth. Earlier, those belonging to GenX would mostly spend their time with friends during the puja days. Now, they have become homeward-bound. Youths are busy on all four days, running around and doing errands. They participate wholeheartedly in different cultural programmes and work hard to make their apartment puja a success.

Probal Deb from Sudakshina Estate (B) Puja Committee said: "Gone are the days when the young generation spent time pandal-hopping with friends. Young boys and girls now participate in the apartment celebrations with enthusiasm."

Funds play an important role and the Pujo Barir Shera Pujo competition has generated more money. "The cash awards have increased our funds. Now, we want to bag the best award by organising the puja in a better way with the increased funds," Apurba Ranjan Ghosh, former secretary of Royal Tower Puja Committee said. The complex is located opposite Baranagar police station.
Source : Times of India
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  #116  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2009, 5:29 AM
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On Maiden run, Duranto 50 mins late

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NEW DELHI: Railway minister Mamata Banerjee's dream express Duranto touted to be the fastest non-stop train in India completed its maiden journey

on Saturday. After covering more than 1,500 km, the train, which was flagged off by Banerjee from Sealdah at 5pm on Friday, arrived at New Delhi Railway Station 50 minutes late at 9.50am on Saturday.

But most passengers said they were "happy'' with the new train and claimed it could, in the long run, replace the 40-year-old Rajdhani as the numero uno express service. According to S K Mukherjee, a passenger, the journey was comfortable. "The train is comparable to the Rajdhanis. I wish this runs daily," he added.

Another passenger S Singh, however, said the food quality needs improvement. "Unlike the Rajdhanis, which have two pantry cars, this train has only one. Hence, the service sometimes became erratic and we had to wait longer for meals,'' he said.

According to officials of Eastern Railway, the train got delayed for about half-an-hour at Dankuni in West Bengal after a kite got entangled with the pantograph of the engine. But after that, the multi-coloured train made steady progress stopping only at Dhanbad, Mughalsarai and Kanpur for technical stops each lasting less than 10 minutes. "The train has a very tight schedule. If there is a little delay in its normal run, it becomes difficult to make up for the lost time in the rest of the journey,'' said a senior Indian Railways official.

Northern Railway officials claimed it was only an unscheduled run, but assured that there would be no more delays once the train begins its scheduled journey. "We had to accommodate this train on an unscheduled run. From September 21, we will have no such problem. The 2559/60 Sealdah-New Delhi Duranto will leave Sealdah on Thursdays and Sundays at 6.40pm and arrive at New Delhi the next day at 11am. The train will start from New Delhi on Fridays and Mondays at 8.05pm and reach Sealdah at 12.25pm the next day,'' said Anant Swarup, CPRO, Northern Railway.

The fully-airconditioned Duranto has 15 coaches. The fare for a 1AC ticket is Rs 3,295 compared to Rs 3,395 in Rajdhani. The 2AC ticket is priced at Rs 1,880 and 3AC at Rs 1,390. The corresponding fares in Rajdhani trains are Rs 2,030 and Rs 1,535 respectively.

The railway minister, it seems, has taken a cue from her predecessor Lalu Yadav. She is not only using Garib Rath coaches for this new train, but also introduced 3AC economy class coaches, which have three side-berths that Lalu coceptualized but later scrapped it after facing flak. The fare for this class has been fixed at Rs 1,335.

Meanwhile, a pantry car assistant suffered minor burn injuries on his face due to rising steam from a boiling kettle. "The incident took place after the train left Kanpur. He was taken to the New Delhi railway hospital for treatment,'' said A S Negi, spokesperson of Indian Railways.

The Chennai Duranto the second such train will begin its maiden journey on September 21.
Source : Times of India
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  #117  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2009, 5:32 AM
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Duronto Express Maiden Run

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Duronto Express passing through Bidhan Nagar Road station, Kolkata
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  #118  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2009, 2:19 AM
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City Center, Rajarhat

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  #119  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2009, 4:40 PM
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Kolkata IT Links: Shroff refuses to give up hope

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A day after chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee announced alternative land for Infosys and Wipro at New Town (Rajarhat), one of the co-promoters of the Kolkata IT Links project asserted he was not giving up hope on reviving the controversy-prone venture.
“I am just waiting for my partner (Raj Modi) to come out (of jail), following which we can go to the government and sort out this problem. I am sure a solution can be found if we sit across the table considering we have an able chief minister, land minister and IT minister,” Diamond Group chief Amarnath Shroff told TOI on Friday. “For the moment, though, it’s just wait-and-watch for us.”
Diamond had tied up with Raj Modi-led Vedic Realty to form a joint venture firm — Vedic Diamond IT Links (erstwhile Akash Nirman). This private JV, in turn, had aligned with Webel to form Webel Akash IT Links that was supposed to undertake the township project, whose fate still remains unclear following allegations of forcible land acquisition.
“Land acquisition was going on quite well as the money being paid was the highest in that area. I had not heard anything of land being taken over at gun-point which is also evident from the fact that not all the plots are contiguous. But as my partner (Modi) was handling the land aspect, I am awaiting his return so that we can clarify our position,” Shroff said.
State IT minister Debesh Das, department secretary Siddharth and Webel MD Tamal Dasgupta could not be reached for their reactions to what Shroff said. While the mobile phones of the minister and Dasgupta went unanswered, the cellphone of the secretary was switched off.
The Diamond boss claimed it was Modi’s persuasive skills that had made Infosys agree to set up a presence within the Kolkata IT Links.
Source : Times of India
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  #120  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2009, 4:54 AM
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State needs Rs 100 crore to keep Bantala leather complex afloat

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The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government is trying to line up a nearly Rs 100-crore solution for the vexed effluent treatment issue that threatens to ground the Calcutta Leather Complex (CLC) and holds ominous signs for the future of the adjoining IT park in Bantala.
The state industries department has decided to approach its central counterpart to bail it out of the imminent crisis arising from the need to upgrade the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) operating at the CLC so that tannery waste doesnt clog up the drainage channels and the resultant stench drives away even techies from occupying glitzy office spaces being put up by the likes of Cognizant and Tech Mahindra in that area.
Sources said the state would seek funds under the 11th Five-Year Plan scheme on upgradation/installation of infrastructure for environment protection , as part of which 50% of the capital cost, subject to a limit of Rs 50 crore, would be available from the Centre. The state government and beneficiaries would chip in the balance amount.
The sources pointed out that the state has estimated that rectification and construction of an additional two CETP modules would need slightly over Rs 50 crore, while the spend necessary on a solid waste management system would be around Rs 16 crore. Pretreatment, flow measuring and tertiary effluent treatment , and related expenses in connection with these, would require almost Rs 32 crore. State commerce and industries secretary Sabyasachi Sen, however, could not be reached for a comment.
Source : Times of India
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