Bengal to develop ‘theme townships’

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Feb 08, 2015 13:33 IST

Gone are the days when the government used to harp on the ‘Roti-Kapda-Makaan’ concept before coming up with township plans. Changing from the old drab ideas of just residential townships, the state government is now planning to come up with new kinds of townships based on specific themes such as culture, organic farming, old age, tourism and health among others.

“We have received 15 specific proposals from private players who want to come up with townships. These would be new kinds of townships based on themes such as geriatric townships, organic townships and health townships among others. We are presently examining them. Two of them – an innovation township and a tourism township near Rajarhat in North 24-Parganags - have been already given the nod by the cabinet,” said state urban development secretary Debasish Sen.

The state government has recently come up with a township policy. It was approved in the cabinet in mid-December, 2014. Soon after that proposals started pouring in.

“The state government will provide facilities to the developers such as land ceiling exemption and conversion of the character of the land among other basic facilities such as drinking water supply and solid waste management. Developers will have to abide by two conditions. At least 25% of the residential units will have to be reserved for economically backward classes and 25% of the land area will have to be used for economic activities,” he added.

Sen was speaking at a conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry to discuss infrastructure developments in eastern India.

“The state government is also planning to come up with three townships near Asansol in Burdwan, Kalyani in Nadia and Bolpur in Birbhum. While the township near Bolpur would be cultural, the one near Asansol would be industrial,” he added.

The state has already earmarked areas for townships in Amtala, Baruipur, Rajarhat, Bishunupur, and Bolpur among others. The new policy demands that each township will spread over an area not less than 50 acres.

“For example the cultural township coming up near Bolpur will be spread over 120 acres and would be developed in such a way that designated areas and the residential units inside it will represent a specific district. While some areas would be like the Rahr areas of Bengal, others would have wooden houses found in Darjeeling. It will also have cultural hubs for performance,” he added.

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