Flyovers will be the flavour of the year. The AJC Bose Road flyover will get two vital exit ramps. Work on the Dunlop Interchange, the Vivekananda Road flyover, and the two-tier flyover from Park Circus intersection to Parama Island will start.
There’s good news for the airport-bound, with the 10.5-km long main arterial road of Rajarhat being relaid by HRBC in keeping with the specifications of the Indian Roads Congress. It will take nine to 11 months for New Town Road to be smooth and swift.
The 800-m road from Chingrihata to Nicco Park will be widened to facilitate entry into Sector V. The Prince Anwar Shah Road connector, from Jadavpur police station to EM Bypass, is likely to be opened this month.
The 11-km road from Garia to Sonarpur will be extended. The next phase of the project will see an extension of another seven km, to Baruipur.
Infrastructure in Sector V will finally be revamped by the Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority, starting with seven arteries in tech town being repaired and then beautified.
The increase in the Union grant under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission from Rs 39 crore to Rs 523 crore should fund drainage, drinking water and sewage projects in the city.
The “country’s first automated underground parking plaza” in front of New Market will finally be commissioned this year. The latest date for the Lindsay Street site is Poila Baisakh.
The city’s first off-the-river water treatment plant, at New Park in Dhapa, will also be unveiled. And Esplanade is set to be beautified.
Area-wise property tax will replace rent-based tax, self-assessment schemes will be started for un-assessed and under-assessed buildings.
Other notable schemes include solar-powered street lights, trash bins on roads, beautification of the Santoshpur Lake, deposition of property tax and licence fees at any CMC counter. Plus, there is the promise of less waterlogging in pockets of north Calcutta.
...& FLYING HIGH
Flying high will be the name of the travel game, with Calcutta airport taxiing towards a major facelift in 2007. The airport aims to handle 40 per cent additional passenger load. Two more security holds are being set up, taking the count to five. That adds up to more X-ray scanning facilities and more passenger seats in the terminal.
The long-awaited Category-II (CAT-II) Instrumental Landing System will finally be operational. The secondary runway expansion by another 440 m will be completed.
The import section and cold storage facility of the integrated cargo complex, a Rs 100- crore project, will become operational. Fourteen new parking bays will be set up, pushing up the number to 34.
Work on the Rs 225-crore new international terminal building will also start. This will have car parking and flyover facilities with two-level operations for arrival and departure.
Ten more retiring rooms for passengers and a new premium car park will complete the facelift frame.
On the Calcutta runway, 2006 saw Malaysia Airline and JetStar Asia pulling out and Lufthansa and Emirates touching down. A number of airlines are planning to start city operations this year — Air China, Ithiad Airways, Qatar Airways and KLM Royal Dutch Airline. Jet Airways is starting its Calcutta-Bangkok operations from January 23. Thai Airways is gearing up to fly daily between Calcutta and Bangkok.
CAS & DTH
Welcome to the age of viewer’s choice as a whole new world beckons from the stroke of midnight. Starting January 1, the first phase of conditional access system (CAS) will roll out in Kidderpore, Garden Reach, Chetla, Alipore, New Alipore, Behala, Thakurpukur, Parnasree, Budge Budge and Mahestala.
The demand for the set-top box in CAS Phase I areas is likely to pick up from Day I as all popular pay channels go blank in households with no access to the encrypted feed. The success of the Phase I roll-out will be watched and weighed before the when and where of Phase II is decided.
Those confused by — or cold to — CAS and wanting much more than just free-to-air channels on their menu can turn to direct to home (DTH) service providers like Tata Sky and Dishtv for both picture clarity and various fun options of watching exactly what you want to.
The Calcutta consumer will be pampered by five new malls and a hundred new shop stops. The South City Mall on Prince Anwar Shah Road, eyeing a Poila Baisakh opening, will have 600,000 sq ft of retail space with four anchors and a six-screen multiplex. Mani Square, over 602,000 sq ft on the Bypass, is also set to open on Bengali New Year’s Day with multiple screen and shop, bite and business options.
City Centre II in Action Area II of Rajarhat will be ready by the Pujas, with Pantaloons and INOX as anchors and a 150-room star hotel. Also up by autumn will be The Courtyard at Forum, the super-chic annexe of the Elgin Ro ad property. Then there’s the 200,000-sq ft Lake Mall on Rashbehari Avenue and the Diamond City North mall, spanning 200,000 sq ft, on Jessore Road. Avani Galleria on Park Street is also set to open its doors this year.
Two home-solution malls — Homeland on Chowringhee and Block-by-Block in Action Area I of Rajarhat — are coming up. Pantaloons is opening its largest showroom in the country at Kankurgachhi followed by another biggie at South City Mall. The Future Group will also unveil five new Big Bazaars by June, besides bringing its E-Zone and Collection-I formats to town.
The hypermarket war will rage with Reliance rolling out its Fresh format, the RPG Group coming in with its Spencer’s brand and southern major Subikhsha joining the fray.
| Abhishek-Ash in Guru
A year beginning with Bollywood blockbusters Guru, Salaam-e-Ishq and Eklavya is bound to see a screen scramble in town. Calcutta’s first giant-screen IMAX theatre and the FTV Lounge, plus a three-screen cineplex by Adlabs, is headed for Mani Square.
The 89 Cinemas plex at City Centre II in Rajarhat is a sure shot, with INOX Jessore Road and the Howrah and Hazra properties of 89 Cinemas next in line. A big multiplex launch should be the South City six-screener from the Shringar group on Prince Anwar Shah Road. “Fame (South City) will be opened by April 14,” confirms a Shringar spokesperson.