The Plan for New Town Kolkata was submitted to Government of India after its approval by the High Powered Steering Committee headed by the Chief Secretary to Government of West Bengal and after an evaluation by a Panel of Experts was shortlisted in a fast track mode vide K-15016/157/2015-SC-I (Vol. II) , on 25/05/2016 .
The strategic components of Area-based development Mission are city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (Greenfield development) plus a Pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied covering larger parts of the city. Each city had to formulate its own concept, vision, mission and plan (proposal) that is appropriate to its local context, resources and levels of ambition. For this, cities needed to prepare their Proposals containing the vision, plan for mobilisation of resources and intended outcomes in terms of infrastructure up-gradation and smart applications.
As per the guidelines, in order to formulate its City proposal under the “ City Challenge “ mode, while taking into consideration the aspirations of the city stakeholders a well formulated 5 stage participatory citizen communication strategy spread over 50 days was leveraged in collaboration with M/S Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Pvt Ltd.
NKDA engaged with around 83% of the residing population to obtain their feedback on city profile and to understand their aspirations, vision and goals. Approximately 21% respondents provided inputs for formulating the City Plan through 138 nos of events. Respondents included – senior citizens, housewives, students, professionals including IT employees, informal sector workers, children, non-resident property owners, citizens seeking to relocate to New Town in near future, entrepreneurs, developers, businessmen, city administrators, elected representatives, academicians and other government institutions along with visitors to the city.
The engagement strategy of New Town Kolkata aimed at (i) reaching maximum contacts and (ii) connecting with all groups of the community including visitors for refining & finalizing the green city plan.
The city adopted a multi-pronged approach to citizen engagement, including:
Multiple activities were undertaken in a festive mode across the electronic, print and social media. Competitions, discussions, polls, awareness campaigns, talk-shows, visits to housing complexes by officials with laptops and data cards to enable citizen participation were also initiated.
The Key inputs from citizen’s valuable feedback thus received were analyzed and summarized as follows:
All these issues and priorities were mapped and deliberated in detail and formed the basis for formulating the strategy and finalizing the Pan city and Area based solutions.
Developed on the basis of citizen feedback and aspirations the Vision statement, validated through extensive consultations is as follows:
“New Town Kolkata aspires to leverage its existing and future investments to create a livable city that is economically vibrant and takes pride in itself”