West Bengal plans 10 smart cities

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on November 25, 2017

Identified townships to be sent to Centre for inclusion

The West Bengal government is planning to set up 10 smart cities. While there’s no single definition of a “smart city”, the term loosely refers to cities using information and technology (IT) to solve urban problems. According to Debashis Sen, Principal Secretary, State Urban Development Department, 10 areas or townships have already been identified and a list of these will soon be sent to the Centre for probable inclusion in the smart cities list.

The move by the State government comes after the Centre revealed a plan to build 100 “smart cities” or cities outfitted with high-tech communication capabilities across the country.

Smart city project

The areas or townships selected include New Town – Rajarhat (on the fringes of Kolkata), Durgapur, Bolpur, Kalyani, Baruipur, Gangasagar, Debanandapur, Raghunathpur, Phulbari and Jaigaon.

“Some of these are existing townships on which we will start work soon, while some are going to be Greenfield ventures. The list is yet to be finalised by the Centre,” Sen said on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the National Association of Realtors.

Work on documenting the smart city project has begun. Survey work is expected to start soon, the bureaucrat said. The basic infrastructure for the smart city will be developed by the State government with a probable funding from the Centre, while housing and other requirements will be carried out by private developers. According to Sen, the exact modalities of the smart city – that include both amenities and financing facilities – are yet to be worked out.

Financial hub

Meanwhile, the West Bengal government has appointed a domestic financial institution, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, as transaction advisor for hard-selling its much-touted financial hub. Set up in Rajarhat in 2012, the hub has been touted as the next-in-line to Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla.

Published on August 17, 2014

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