UK firms ready to invest in Green City Mission

UK firms ready to invest in Green City Mission
The mission, mentored by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, will include not only plantation of trees but also some other exciting environment-friendly plans.

On Tuesday, the British firms had a meeting with state urban development secretary Debasis Sen, expressing eagerness to invest in the state green city projects. “Most of companies are among the areas of transport, water treatment management, construction, construction waste management,” said Sen.

However, about 40,000 saplings are expected to be planted at different places of the township. The programme has started. This plantation programme may converge with some national programmes like Namami Gange, which is related to plantation.

In a meeting at Nabanna in June, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has mentored the idea to prepare New Town as a green city and the other townships will come under the mission accordingly. West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBHIDCO), the government agency which has the responsibility to develop projects in New Town, had a meeting with their creative partners to kick start the mission plan.

Steer Davies Gleave, a leading transport planner in Europe, played a big role in some pioneering works – UK’s Battersea Power Station, Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, London’s first underground Cycle Vault, Italy’s Due Diligence for Strada Dei and Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) at Colombia’s Bogota – has put forward their interest to work with the state government.

Global Green Solution (GGS) — a consortium of UK, with people who have proven track record in the field of sustainable development of cities, renewable energy, recycled and desalinated water and sustainable transport system, has also showed their interest to work with Bengal government.

Terra Vac, a company that makes arsenic-free water, CDS (Construction Demolition Waste Management), award winning heritage architect and designing firm – Purcell are also on the line to invest here in green city project.

However, state urban development department has already initiated the planning for the project with primary ideas from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), experts from Kolkata Municipal Corporation, IIT Kharagpur and Confederation of Real Estate Developer’ Associations India. 

The Green City concept includes adequate eco-space, water reservoir system and transport. New Town may soon have mono rail system besides Metro rail.

The cost of construction for Green Buildings is much more than that of normal buildings. But, to assist the realtors, the State Government has announced that 10 per cent extra Floor Area Ratio for Green Buildings to be built.

It is also to be remembered that the state has initiated another urban project – Theme City, where six such city would be developed. Howrah, twin city of Kolkata, a senior citizens’ city at Baruipur, a health and education city in North Bengal’s Siliguri, industrial city in Asansol, art and culture at Bolpur, and an analytics city at Kalyani are listed as theme cities.

Companies like HP (Hewlett Packard); Pratt & Whitney, EY and Cisco have expressed interest in participating in development of these theme cities and e-governance programme.

Debamoy Ghosh

Debamoy Ghosh

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