New Town, Kolkata
|New Town Kolkata
|Satellite city and Neighbourhood of Kolkata|
Apartment high-rises in New Town
|District||North 24 Parganas district, South 24 Parganas district|
|• Type||Statutory development area|
|• Body||New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA)|
|• Official||Bengali, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Barasat|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Rajarhat New Town|
New Town, is a fast-growing planned satellite city and a neighbourhood of Kolkata (earlier, Calcutta), located partly in North 24 Parganas district and South 24 Parganas district of the Indian state of West Bengal. This new information technology and residential hub is being developed on the north-eastern fringes of Kolkata. It consists of areas of 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 in 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 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, TCS Gitanjali Park and Unitech, and plots for large apartment complexes, it will also house the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art, an open landscape with an 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 Garden Vista now being developed by a consortium of Sureka, Merlin and JB. Various educational institutes such as University of Engineering & Management, IIT Kharagpur, St Xaviers College and IT majors Infosys and Wipro have set up their campuses there, along with overseas firms like BT Group. A sprawling arts institute has already been set up.
New Town being three times the size of Salt Lake has emerged 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, Ambuja Realty, Bengal Peerless, Sureka Group etc. are involved in Commercial/Retail/Residential projects.
New Town has an under construction financial hub, known as the New Town Arbitration and Financial Hub, which is planned to house regional or national headquarters of several financial institutions.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is building a 20,000 capacity large SEZ in New Town, Rajarhat near Unitech, DLF2 and Ecospace building. The building is named as Gitanjali Tech Park. Many projects have moved to some completed parts of the building.
The city is planned for a population of 10 lakhs, however, as of December 2016, the residential population of New Town is estimated to be around 30,000. 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 are expected to see radical changes within a few years. The existing populace was 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.
Civic administration and utility services
Civic administration is looked after by the New Town Kolkata Development Authority, a statutory body. The town is in the Barasat constituency and elects one member to the Lok Sabha (the Lower House of the Indian Parliament). The town area is covered by one assembly constituency, Rajarhat New Town, that elects one member to the Vidhan Sabha, which is the West Bengal state legislative assembly.
As of 2015, New Town gets 200 lpcd of treated water every day with potable water that is sourced from the Hooghly River. Water treatment plants with computerised monitoring and control system are in place. 100% of the garbage is collected by sanitary workers through door to door collection. As of 2015, more than 70% of the solid waste management vehicles and street sweeping vehicles have been fitted with GPS devices for effective monitoring. All the garbage is compacted at compacting stations before disposing of it in dumping grounds.
Electricity is supplied by the privately operated New Town Electric Supply Company, or NTESCL. Fire services are handled by the West Bengal Fire Service, a state agency. The Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate looks after the law and order in the city.
State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, or BSNL, as well as private enterprises, among them Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Reliance, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Teleservices, Virgin Mobile, and MTS India, are the leading telephone and cell phone service providers in the city.:25–26:179 Kolkata being the first city in India to have cell phone and 4G connectivity, the GSM and CDMA cellular coverage is extensive in New Town.
The main mode of transportation, like other parts of Kolkata includes air conditioned, non-AC government and private buses, taxi, and other popular Indian transports like auto rickshaw and e-rickshaws. As of 2015, around 300 buses on 25 different bus routes, either passes through or originates from New Town. As of November 2016, the New Garia – Airport line of the Kolkata Metro is under-construction with cost inflation and delays 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.
Though some of the major hospitals are yet to be built, this area has good connectivity with other parts of Kolkata which have sophisticated health centres. A handful of million-dollar health care facilities are under projection, and most of them will be completed soon. The most notable to mention is the intensive care hospital, Tata Cancer Centre.
A couple of new hospitals like Ohio Heart Hospital, UMRI (Uma Medical Research Institute), AMRI Hospital, Park Hospital, Disha Eye Hospitals & Research Centre, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Alo Eye Care exist here. Apollo Hospitals group will open a multi-specialty hospital in this area soon. Belle Vue will be opening its second clinic soon in Rajarhat. Health Care Global (HCG), a leading chain of Cancer Hospital will be very soon starting a Cancer Hospital in association with EKO PET- CT Institute.
New Town has many educational institutions, from prep schools to a university. To aid its economy, the Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation, (HIDCO) has allotted land to at least 30 educational institutions covering over 150 acres of land. While many reputed colleges, universities and training institutes like Presidency University, St. Xaviers University, Rabindra Bharati University are in the process of establishing their second campuses, some of the institutes like University of Engineering & Management, Amity University, Aliah University and Techno India have already set up their campus and have started operations.
Lands are being allotted through e-tenders to campuses of several government and private institutes like Netaji Subhas Open University, Ganguly Educational Society, Bhawanipor Gujrati Education Society, IILM Foundation, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDCL) Staff Training Centre, West Bengal State Council of Vocational Education and Training, State Social Welfare School in the township with land ranging from 2 acres to 10 acres. Besides these, a 20-acre land is also available on tenders to set up a government medical college and hospital.
Some of the educational and training institutes that are setting up their campuses in Rajarhat:
- University of Engineering & Management (UEM), Kolkata
- Amity University Kolkata
- Presidency University
- St. Xaviers University
- Rabindra Bharati University
- IIT Kharagpur Research Park
- Aliah University
- Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
- Ramakrishna Mission Centre of Excellence
- Belle Vue Nursing College
- West Bengal Power Development Corporation (WBPDCL) Training Institute
- Al Ameen Mission Trust
- Techno India
For the children, to study up to the 12th standard, New Town also houses many schools:
- Delhi Public School
- New Town School
- Calcutta Public School
- Holy Place School
- Calcutta Airport English High School
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 them is the New Town Eco Park opened in 2013, boasting of an area of 480 acres consisting of water sports, huge green areas, butterfly garden, an island in the middle of the lake, excellent walkways around the lake. A seniors park known as Swapno Bhar was opened in 2015.
Cultural centres which have been set up are Rabindra Tirtha, Nazrul Tirtha and a Vivek Tirtha is in the making. A wax museum modelled on the lines of Madame Tussauds in London has opened up, known as Mother's Wax Museum. An art centre called Arts Acre is present and another museum, Kolkata Museum of Modern Art is in the making.
Several shopping malls are being constructed in the area. Some of the shopping malls in New Town which are operating are City Centre 2, Axis Mall, and Home Town Mall. Some upcoming malls are Unitech Downtown Mall, Rajarhat Central Mall and Centrus Mall.
The operational five-star hotels in the town are Swissotel and Novotel. 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 and three-star hotel, Holiday Inn are 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. Accor, which runs a hotel in Rajarhat under flagship brand Novotel, is planning to bring two more brands in the city - ibis and Formule 1
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