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Kolkata West International City is a proposed satellite township development at Salap[1] in Howrah district in the form of a joint-venture between two Indonesian conglomerates - Salim group, Ciputra Development and Singapore-based[2] Universal Success Group.[3]

Contents

ProjectEdit

The project was one of the largest foreign direct investments in township projects in India[4] and the first in West Bengal.[5] The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority acquired a 390-acre plot beside the Kona Expressway at Salap[6] and handed it over to the consortium along with sub-leasing rights.[7] It was unveiled by Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, on 15 February 2006 and was expected to comprise about 11,000 apartments (flats/villas) to house nearly 36,000 people.[3]

The first phase of the project was to span across 82 acres with the flats being priced between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 80 lakh.[7] There were further plans to set up dedicated power stations, sports facilities, IT parks, entertainment zones, hospitals and schools.[3] The first 450 units were to be sold over by December 2007 and the entire project, comprising five phases[8], was expected to be completed and delivered by 2010.[3]

OppositionEdit

An elite population of the city had initially demanded that the word ‘Kolkata’ be dropped from the name, as misleading.[9] There was a barrage of criticism over Howrah Municipal Corporation agreeing to supply 2 million gallons of water per day to the project, amidst it's general inability to sustain a proper water-supply to residential areas.[10]

DelaysEdit

The developers had missed numerous deadlines since 2008 and by 2013, not even half of the first phase work was completed.[7][11] Salim group, and Ciputra Development went away soon after missing the first deadline.[12]

The buyers have since formed an association -- Kolkata West Buyers' Welfare Association to lodge protests against the supposed scam. A few flats, were eventually provided with completion certificates from 2011 and onwards[8][13] but were allegedly far from complete and constructed in a sub-optimal fashion.[7] Multiple protests have been held since 2011.[14][11][15][8][13][16] In July 2011, Abhay Mohan Jha of HIMAL Southasian, made a visit to the proposed township and found it to be a desolated and uninhabited place, that resembled more of a cemetery. After being disallowed by the guards to enter the property, he visited the project-office in Chowringhee to find about 200 investors in a dharna, who despite having paid in full, were unable to move in, due to lack of any minimal infrastructure.[5] Work progressed at a very slow pace and whilst more houses were eventually constructed, most of them had no connecting road or other basic facilities.[17] The Association also protested by writing to West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, but to no avail.[18][19]

Universal Success Group has since blamed it on the delayed processing of "certain" approvals from various regulatory bodies like KMDA et al.[8] KMDA though refuted the allegations and mentioned of the group being non-transparent when queried by them, about the reasons behind such extraordinary delays.[8]

The Association has also filed a case against Kolkata West with the Competition Commission of India. [20]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kolkata West International City".
  2. ^ Reporter, A Staff (June 2011). "Bungalow buyers in a bind". Kolkata, India: The Telegraph, 3 June 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Saha, Subhro (14 April 2006). "West wake-up". A sprawling satellite township that promises a slew of facilities and can house 36,000 people may change the face of Howrah. Calcutta, India: The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  4. ^ Chattopadhya, Suhrid Sankar. "Focus: West Bengal". Changing Phase. Frontline, Vol 24, Issue 2, 27 Jan–9 Feb 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  5. ^ a b Jha, Abhay Mohan (July 2011). "Herey Chhe". Lalitpur, Nepal: The Himal, July 2011. Archived from the original on 17 March 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  6. ^ "NRI Buyers Protesr Delay".
  7. ^ a b c d Reporter, A Staff (September 2013). "Township buyers protest delay". Kolkata, India: The Telegraph, 25 September 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e Ranjan Bose, Pratim (June 2011). "A Kolkata township that remains castles in the air". Kolkata, India: Business Line, 18 June 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  9. ^ Mukherjee, Mita (10 January 2007). "Howrah Cry to alter name". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph, 10 January 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  10. ^ "The Statesman". web.archive.org. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  11. ^ a b Reporter, A Staff (June 2011). "Bungalow buyers in a bind". Kolkata, India: The Telegraph, 3 June 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  12. ^ Mitra, Dola (17 November 2016). "Keep An Ear Out For Whispers". Outlook. India. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  13. ^ a b Bureau, Our (June 2011). "Delayed project: Buyers of posh housing complex threaten stir". Kolkata, India: Business Line, 28 May 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  14. ^ Service, Statesman News (September 2013). "Buyers demand allotment of flats". Kolkata, India: The Statesman, 25 September 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  15. ^ Banerjee, Arindam (June 2011). "Bungalows paid for, not delivered". Kolkata, India: The Indian Express, 20 June 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  16. ^ IBN, CNN- (June 2011). "CJ exposes land scam in West Bengal". Kolkata, India: CNN-IBN, 8 June 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  17. ^ Object, object (6 March 2018). "KWIC buyers welfare body seeks CM's intervention over unfinished project". www.millenniumpost.in. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  18. ^ Goswami, Tarun (June 2011). "Don't give Nayachar project to Prasun: Kolkata West buyers tell Mamata". Kolkata, India: The Statesman, 27 June 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  19. ^ Basu, Manish (May 2011). "Kolkata West homebuyers seek Bengal CM's intervention in row". Kolkata, India: Mint, 20 May 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  20. ^ Mazumdar, Jharna (August 2011). "Conflict zone". Kolkata, India: Financial Chronicle, 24 August 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2013.

External linksEdit