Rajarhat to be first zero-energy town & Rajarhat on Centre’s township list

News Posted - 2010-08-26, Last Updated - 2010-08-26

Kolkata

Rajarhat is set to become India’s first near-zero energy satellite town (ZEST). The US department of energy (DOE) and the renowned Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) have been working on the issue for long time. The BNL and DOE have initiated a special project that involves turning Indian and Chinese cities into energy-efficient hubs.

A team led by Vatsal Bhatt, research engineer and energy policy analyst, BNL, was in the city on July 23 to launch the project, which will be replicated in townships across India. Rajarhat is expected to house around one million people in the near future. According to BNL, cities are responsible for nearly 75% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Katie Bolcar of the DOE explained the concepts of a nearzero energy community and the importance of creating ZESTs at a meeting of the Union urban development ministry in New Delhi on May 31. Debashis Sen, principal secretary, state urban development department, attended the meeting. Bolcar told the participants that BNL wished to work with a satellite town to showcase the concept and set up a model of a zero-energy town in India. Rajarhat was picked as a pilot project.

By the time Rajarhat turns into a ZEC, its energy demand will be reduced by 40% to 50%. A Hidco official said, “Rajarhat will still take a few years to take its complete shape. If the ZEC project happens, the satellite township will require very little energy from the grid. Source: magicbricks 28/7/10”

Rajarhat on Centre’s township list

The Centre has selected Rajarhat as one of the eight upcoming satellite townships of the country, where it would sanction 80% of the total cost of implementing civic infrastructure projects. Urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya revealed this on July 23 at an interactive session organized by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Central funds will be crucial for New Town, which is plagued by lack of infrastructure. Entire condominiums are lying deserted because the residents dare not move in there. The list of problems in this sprawling township ranges from lack of drinking water and power to poor connectivity. “The Centre will fund 80% of the total cost of any project that will be taken in Rajarhat. The Centre is also ready to give financial assistance for our internal rapid bus service in New Town,” Bhattacharya said.

Bhattacharya said that the state government was setting up three new satellite townships in Bengal. “These are at Baruipur, New Konnapur near Asansol and the Aerotropolis at Andal. There is much potential for the growth of satellite townships in other places like Dankuni and Silguri. We have already set up quite a few satellite townships, like Baisnabghata Patuli, West Howrah, Burdwan and Siliguri,” the minister said.

Bhattacharya said that they were working on an inclusive plan for all cities and towns to properly develop the areas. “This plan will also involve a proper hawker policy. With scarce availability of land, it is very important to develop the peri-urban areas,” the minister said. Bhattacharya said that they have framed a scheme of secondary city development — a plan to develop small cities and towns in the state. “We have requested for Rs 500 crore from the Centre to develop the sewerage and drainage systems of these small cities,” he said.

Bhattacharya also said that they were working on the process to hand over the land deeds for the dwellers of Duttabad — an added area of Salt Lake situated on the lines of EM Bypass. “There has been a long standing demand for the residents of this area to give them proper rehabilitation and we are trying to issue their land deeds,” the minister said. Source: magicbricks 24/7/10