|This article is outdated. (November 2012)|
|New Town Kolkata
Apartment high-rises in New Town
|District||North 24 Parganas|
|• Type||Urban development area|
|• Body||New Town Kolkata Development Authority|
|• Official||Bengali, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||Calcutta Telephone|
|Sex ratio||939 ♂/♀|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Barasat|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Rajarhat New Town|
New Town, a neighbourhood of Kolkata (earlier, Calcutta), located in North 24 Parganas district of the Indian state of West Bengal, is a fast-growing planned satellite city. This new information technology and residential hub is being developed on the north-eastern fringes of Kolkata. It consists of the two erstwhile villages Rajarhat and Bhangar, which is now a statutory planned development area. The area mainly consisted of huge acres of cultivable lands and water bodies, which have been acquired and developed in a planned manner. The process of investing for residential and industrial facilities and infrastructural development of the area has mainly started under the leadership of the then Chief Minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharya in the late 1990s. The master plan envisions a township which is at least three times bigger than the neighbouring planned Salt Lake City. The New Town (Rajarhat) has been also declared as a Solar City by the previous UPA government at the Centre and now the initiatives are being taken to declare this city as Smart Green City, a dream project of Narendra Modi (Prime Minister of India) with the help of Government of West Bengal according to a proposal submitted by Mamata Banerjee (Chief Minister of West Bengal).
The New Town Kolkata was enabled with 10.5 km of Wi-Fi Zone connecting the Rajarhat Main Arterial Road to the airport to Sector V, which also make it India's first Wi-Fi road connectivity. The stretch has already been declared as a green corridor.
Being a planned township, New Town has been divided into three areas: Action Area - I, mainly consisting of malls, a Sub-CBD, and planned residential and commercial plots; Action Area - II is supposedly planned to have a main central business district (CBD), institutional plots, IT Business Parks like DLF and Unitech, and plots for large apartment complexes, it will also house the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art, an open landscape with an Ecopark Eco-park built around a water body; Action Area IIC has many residential housing projects like Hiland Woods, Akankha, Sunrise Point, Moonbeam Housing, Starlit etc.; Action Area - III mainly consists of high-rise residential complexes and mini sub-townships like Uniworld City and Sukhobristi and upscale gated residential communities such as DLF Newtown Heights, Shrachi's Rosedale, Unitech's Uniworld City, Tata's Eden Court and Keppel's Elita Vista. Various educational institutes such as IIT Kharagpur, St Xaviers College and IT majors Infosys and Wipro would be setting up their campuses there. A sprawling arts institute has already been set up.
New Town being three times the size of Salt lake have been allotted as the second IT hub of Kolkata. Already several IT majors are operational, while others like TCS (allotted 40 acres) and Wipro (allotted 45 acres) have been allotted space. Real estate companies like DLF, Bengal Unitech of Unitech Group, Shapoorji Pallonji, Tata group, Singapore based Keppel Land, Ambuja Realty, Bengal Peerless etc. are developing Commercial/Retail/Residential projects,some of which are largely operational today.
Some of the operational IT companies in New Town are: Cognizant, IBM, Genpact, Hewlett-Packard, Capgemini, Tech Mahindra, Ericsson, Accenture, Philips, HCL Technologies, Vodafone India, and British Telecom. Other IT and ITes companies include eRevMax, Aegis, Xoriant Corp. and many mid-to small cap Tech firms. IT majors like TCS, CTS, Infosys and Wipro have also acquired prime land in New Town and their facilities will be ready soon. The Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) SEZ facility is going to open in 2015.
New Town has a financial hub known as New Town Arbitration and Financial Hub. The following institutions have taken up land till the date of 9 January 2015: Allahabad Bank, UCO, National Insurance, IDFC, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Shriram Credit, Union Bank, West Bengal Financial Corporation (WBFC), Andhra Bank, Syndicate Bank, Bandhan Bank (HQ), Canara Bank, DRI, Govt. of India, WBIDFC.
World Trade Centre Kolkata is being built in New Town as well.
As per the 2011 census, Rajarhat had a total population of 189,893 persons, Males constitute 50.55% of the population and females 49%. Rajarhat has an average literacy rate of 73.49%. With the completion of the establishment and development of the township, the population of the area is poised for a significant increase. The sex ratio, literacy rate and every other regional statistics will therefore see radical changes within a few years. The existing populace is mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture, animal husbandry, and skilled and unskilled labour. The population intended to be settled here is the elite professional segment, the upper-middle and middle-classes. Also non-resident Indians are investing in residential and commercial spaces. It will be a vibrant cosmopolitan demographic mix.
Though some of the major hospitals are yet to be built, this area has good connectivity with other parts of Calcutta which have sophisticated health centers. A handful of million-dollar health care facilities are under projection, and most of them will be completed soon.[when?] The most notable to mention is the intensive care hospital and state-of-the-art Tata Cancer Centre by industrialist and international steel-baron Ratan Tata at New Town. It stands completed now. Couple of new hospitals like Ohio Heart Hospital is under construction and, UMRI (Uma Medical Research Institute), Zoom healthcare and Charnock Hospital exist here. Apollo Hospitals group will open a multi-specialty hospital in this area soon.
The main mode of transportation, like other parts of Kolkata includes air conditioned, non-AC government and private buses, taxi, and other popular India transports like auto rickshaw. However, the buses are sporadic and the routes originating out are very few. The New Garia – Airport line of the Kolkata Metro is supposed to pass through New Town by 2014. There is also a plan to extend the Circular Railway from Bidhannagar Road (Ultadanga) to New Town via lake town and salt lake. The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport is very near to the township, providing air connectivity to the rest of the World. Overall the area is being well planned with wide, thoughtfully planned roads and expressways.
Leisure and entertainment
The area has one of the best entertainment facilities in the state of West Bengal. Apart from private clubs of various offices and estates, the area has a good number of children's parks and clubs. Notable mention among those will be a water park called Aquatica; a good children's park called Nicco Park; a huge picnic spot consisting of waterbodies called Nalban ; and a club for adults with traditional Indian yoga and spa facilities, called Vedic Village. But with the opening of the New Town Eco Park (on 480 acre - with water sports, and huge green areas, excellent walkways around), the real estate development will get a further boost.
Cultural centres which have been set up are Rabindra Tirtha, Nazrul Tirtha and a Vivek Tirtha is in the making. A wax museum modeled on the lines of Madame Tussauds in London has opened up, known as Mother's Wax Museum. Art centre Arts Acre is present and another museum known as Kolkata Museum of Modern Art is in the making.
Several international shopping malls are being constructed in the area. Notable malls are Axis Mall, City Centre,DLF Galleria mall. Another huge million square feet plus retail destination, "The Epicenter Mall" by Virtuous Retail is coming up by 2016. The New Town area is a shopper's paradise in the real sense of the term, but all these malls have been planned especially keeping in mind the needs of the elite class. Some of the shopping malls in New Town include (complete as well as planned), City Centre, New Town, Axis Mall, The Terminus, DLF Galleria Mall, Home Town, Block-By-Block, Unitech Downtown Mall and Centrus Mall. International five-star hotels like ITC Sonar and Hyatt Regency are situated nearby. These hotels have good multicuisine and pub facilities. The operational five-star hotels are Swissotel Kolkata Neotia Vista and Novotel, New Town. The Pride Group of hotels has a business hotel on the M.A.R, while other business hotels like The Pipal Tree is operational. Construction work of other five-star hotels such as Westin is in progress. Apart from the presence of Novotel, Swissotel and the Westin in New Town,there has been a proposal to set up another five star hotel known as Eastin Easy Kolkata.
- "Yahoo maps location of New Town". Yahoo maps. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- "Rajarhat Gopalpur Municipality". Official website of the Department of Municipal Affairs, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- "Real Estate boom in New Town...!!". PressReleasePoint. 2009-08-21. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- "Wipro accepts West Bengal’s land proposal (Lead) - Thaindian News". Thaindian.com. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
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