The Telegraph
Friday , December 28 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Highlights of 2012

Birth of Bidhannagar Commissionerate

Rajeev Kumar

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced the formation of Bidhannagar Commissionerate on January 20. Rajeev Kumar was appointed commissioner.

There are nine police stations under the jurisdiction of the new commissionerate — Bidhan-nagar (North), Bidhannagar (South), Bidhannagar (East), Electronic Complex, Lake Town, Baguiati, New Town, the airport area and Netaji Subhas Bose International Airport.

Night patrolling has been bolstered with the deployment of a 150-strong civic police force. Fifty more volunteers have been trained to man traffic. Eight traffic guards have been set up under the commissionerate area. New traffic signals are installed at the Susrut island near Calcutta Heart Clinic and Hospital, Labony Island and Tank 13 Island.

Rabi Tirtha

A study centre for research on Rabindranath Tagore was built over five acres in Action Area 1 in New Town. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated Rabi Tirtha on August 7. The centre, with a built-up area of around 3,000 sq m, has a 200-seater auditorium, an exhibition hall, an audio-visual hall, a music station and an archive. Two dormitories, each with 40 beds, have been built for outstation students. Guests can put up in three cottages. The centre opened doors from September 15. At present, it is hosting the first Winter Festival where residents of New Town are showcasing their talents.

Central Park in eye of storm

Bidhannagar Mela was taken over by the municipality from private organisers. The name of the fair also underwent a cosmetic change — Bidhannagar Mela (Utsav). In the run-up to the fair in January, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the high court against the urban development department and Bidhannagar Municipality for the creation of a permanent fairground by concreting the green surface. The PIL, filed by a resident of GD Block took a more serious turn as the court appointed a special officer to check for permanent constructions in Central Park. The case, which is still on, puts a question mark on several structures on the park premises, including the East-West Metro car shed and a water reservoir.

Salt Lake turns 50

Salt Lake completed 50 years of existence on April 16. On this day in 1962, the reclamation of the marshes had officially been started by chief minister Bidhan Chandra Roy.

The golden jubilee celebrations took place across the township. The biggest programme was the one organised by Bidhannagar Press Club, in association with The Telegraph Salt Lake, at BJ Park over four days with a range of contests like sit-and-draw, cooking and ramp walk. “Congratulations to all citizens of the town, administrators, professional and political actors who successfully contributed in implementation of the Master Plan,” wrote Dobrivoje Toskovic, the 85-year-old Yugoslav master planner of the township, in his guest column for The Telegraph Salt Lake on the occasion.

Former Brazilian footballer
Dunga in action at Salt Lake stadium. The 1994 World Cup-winning captain featured in an exhibition match pitting Brazilian Masters against IFA All Stars XI on December 8 along with other greats like Bebeto. Tennis star Leander Paes also played in the match.

Property tax fracas

After a two-year tax holiday, bills were raised this year for 2010-11 and 2011-12. But after hundreds of residents stood in snaking queues in summer to deposit taxes, the bills sent by Bidhannagar Municipality were cancelled by the state government which found the rate of valuation on the basis of which taxes were calculated to be unacceptable. The civic body had effected a hike of up to 30 per cent over old valuation done in 1978. But the government ordered that fresh tax bills be sent, calculated at the rate prevalent on June 30, 2005. So fresh bills were dispatched from August. The last date for submission of taxes is December 31, 2012.

Property transfer

Transfer of leasehold rights was sanctioned by the government this year. Residents of Salt Lake can now transfer property by paying a licence fee of Rs 5 lakh per cottah to the urban development department.

The township’s plots had been leased out to residents for 999 years on condition that they could not transfer the plots. But handover of plots did take place clandestinely, power of attorney, will, rent and loan being the most common methods that were adopted.

According to sources, the department has received around 120 applications for transfer since June.

For a transfer to be effected, a preliminary examination is done by the department and Bidhannagar Municipality and Bidhannagar Police are informed in writing. The department waits for 10 days for responses from the civic body and city police. If there is no reply from the two authorities, then the urban development department goes ahead with the transfer.

Vroom nursery

The first Harley Davidson showroom in eastern India opened its doors on May 6. The showroom at Jatragachhi, Rajarhat, stocks popular bikes from across the world ranging from Superlow to Street Glide, Fat Bob and Fat Boy. Die-hard Harley fans can also buy Harley Davidson miniatures, belt buckles, shirts and coffee mugs. The price of the bikes starts at Rs 6.5 lakh.

New office for SDO

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the sub-divisional office on April 19 at DJ 4. Apart from housing the office of the sub-divisional officer, the three-storeyed building houses the sub-divisional magistrate’s court and the Bidhannagar treasury. The SDO’s office is where problems regarding electoral rolls are sorted out, among other administrative functions.

Stadium, water tanks renamed

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee renamed the Salt Lake stadium as Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.

At her behest, civic chief Krishna Chakraborty also renamed all 15 water tanks after icons like Meghnad Saha and Matangini Hazra. In popular parlance, however, they
continue to be known by their numerical identities.

Boating at central park

Boating facilities have resumed in the waterbody at Central Park after a gap of six years. Two-seater and four-seater boats have been purchased for rides. The service, started in December, will be available round the year, from 8am to 5pm.

Fd block pet clinic

A pet clinic, Nawab Dastan, opened at FD 213 in September. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is open from 6pm to 8pm and on weekends from 11am to 1pm. X-ray and ECG facilities are available here. Treatment for strays is done at nominal costs.

Community hall for AK Block

AK Block got a community centre. The block had been allotted space inside the park in 1994, but residents living opposite the park objected and filed a court case, which they won. The block then applied for another vacant plot and started construction on it in 2009. The two-storeyed building was inaugurated in April.