The goal: Bengal at its best. The timeline: 20 years.
That is the task chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has assigned his men, who had till now turned their attention to traffic and transportation, water supply and sewerage and drainage and sanitation.
Three new blueprints ' ensuring 'balanced and integrated development' of the city and its surroundings ' have been drawn up and are awaiting the approval of the Calcutta Metropolitan Planning Committee (CMPC) at its next meeting.
Two other master plans ' on environment and housing, including the areas of education, health and employment generation ' are also being prepared, and will be placed before the CMPC if they are ready by the next session.
The roadmaps have been drafted by the CMDA on the basis of the perspective plan ' Vision 2025 ' formulated in 2000 to improve the quality of life in Calcutta and the suburbs, in the face of burgeoning population and vehicular traffic.
'These master plans will cover different categories of development work, including water supply, sanitation and sewerage, traffic and transportation, healthcare, education, employment generation, environment and housing,' explained K.S. Rajendrakumar, urban development secretary.
'They will be applicable to the entire Calcutta Metropolitan Area,' he added. 'All development agencies will have to follow these plans while implementing respective projects,' said Rajendrakumar.
For instance, the traffic and transportation plan pinpoints the roads to be widened or extended, specifies areas where flyovers and new roads are to be built and indicates roads on which traffic has to be restricted.
Similarly, specific schemes to build water treatment plants, reservoirs and underground pipelines have been identified.
Officials estimate that about Rs 1,000 crore will be needed every year to put the plans to action. The funds will be drawn from the budgetary allocations of departments like transport, urban development, environment and irrigation, Calcutta Municipal Corporation and the PWD.
Additional funds will also be sought from the Centre and agencies like the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, besides countries like Italy, Germany and France.
This is not the first time the state government has attempted to inject order into its development path.
The Basic Development Plan (BDP) was drawn up in 1966 with guidelines for development projects over the next two decades.
Based on this, in 1967, master plans for traffic and transportation, water supply and drainage, sewerage and sanitation were drawn up.
The traffic and transportation master plan was meant to see the government through on the issue of traffic flow till 1986. It was upgraded during the tercentenary celebrations of the city in the 1990s.
The other two plans were applicable till 2000.
The same year, the government felt that rising population and vehicular traffic called for a fresh perspective, which resulted in Vision 2025.