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Demand spurs New Town III
- Never-before response to Rajarhat sale

Encouraged by the overwhelming demand for plots in Rajarhat New Town, where Action Area I and II are almost sold out, Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco), the agency implementing the project, has started developing Action Area III.

'Thousands of people are waiting for a plot in New Town and the demand is rapidly rising,' Hidco chairman and housing minister Gautam Deb said on Sunday.

'Not an inch of land is vacant in Action Area I and II. To cope with the demand, we have started developing Action Area III, covering 1,350 hectares. I have asked Hidco engineers and officers to ensure that a major portion of infrastructure in Action Area III is complete within this year,' minister Deb added.

Hidco officers said they had received nearly 25,000 applications in response to a recent advertisement for allotting 2,175 residential plots in pockets of Action Area II and in Action Area III (the deadline was February).

This apart, about 10,000 people, who failed to get a plot through a lottery held earlier, are still in the queue. In addition to that, 5,000 people are waiting for a commercial plot.

'New Town has become the first choice of the people not only for homes but for business as well. Starting from restaurants to malls, and from a sports complex to IT hubs to an NRI complex and resorts, New Town is the destination,' the housing minister claimed.

'I cannot make any promise, but I am trying to provide land to as many applicants as possible,' he said, adding that no other township, Salt Lake included, had got such a response.

Director-general of Hidco Subodh Bhattacharya said 400 acres has already been acquired for Action Area III and the process of procuring more is on. 'Infrastructure work, including land-filling, construction of roads, bylanes, sewerage lines and electrification is going on in full swing to complete a portion of this sector before the Pujas,' he said.

Hidco has allotted nearly 6,000 residential plots to 2,900 individuals and 2,800 cooperatives, besides 40 acres to eight developers to build residential complexes in Action Areas I and II. This apart, nearly 1,000 acres have been allotted to individuals and companies to build commercial complexes, shopping malls, office complexes, cultural centres, educational institutions, public utility centres and IT estates.

Eight developers are engaged in building residential estates through a joint venture with the West Bengal Housing Board. The Board is building highrises there, and 2,000 flats have already been sold out.

Enumerating the reasons for the huge demand for land at New Town, Hidco officials said people were attracted to the township's modern facilities and connectivity with other parts of the city. Railway stations, airport and arterial roads, like VIP Road and the EM Bypass are all linked to it.

Besides, the cost of land is lower than in adjacent areas.

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