The role of physical infrastructure in driving a countryâ€™s social and economic development is immense. Large-scale infrastructure projects are a key enabler of economic growth, as such facilities decrease the cost of transportation, and in turn, the cost of trade, which attracts investors. Availability of necessary infrastructure also releases the pressure on city traffic, increases the quality of life, enhances the ease of doing business, and boosts the overall mobility of citizens and businesses alike.
Initiatives of West Bengal Government in Speeding up Infrastructure Projects in Kolkata
The state government of West Bengal has stepped on the accelerator to put infrastructure projects in Kolkata on the fast track. Here are some of the key initiatives that are being taken up by the West Bengal government.
Keeping in mind the ever-increasing vehicle population, and at the same time, the need for speed in establishing seamless connectivity, the Bengal government is undertaking a variety of ambitious programs to expand infrastructure in order to enhance the city’s quality of life through the removal of traffic dreadlocks.
The State Government, under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), has come up with a Rs. 27 billion action plan, which includes the widening and extension of arterial roads, strengthening and broadening of secondary roads, construction of elevated roads, flyovers, bridges, and pedestrian underpasses throughout the city.
Several international companies are in the fray to collaborate with the Bengal government in its efforts to improve the road and transportation system. This will eventually ease the traffic pressure and bring some relief to the city commuters.
The East-West Metro project between Sector V and Howrah Maidan overcame its last major hurdle after the Archaeological Survey of India gave permission to construct tracks and a station near three heritage structures in the BBD Bag area.
Fast-paced development of the Rs. 5,000-crore East-West Metro Corridor, connecting Salt Lake to Howrah including the central business district, is already underway.
The Bengal Government is also contemplating an extension of East-West Metro from Salt Lake City to NSC Bose Airport. The Metro link, connecting the southern and northern fringes of the city, is already a lifeline to many office-goers and reduces vehicular pollution substantially.
A number of high-value infra projects in and around Kolkata are suffering a setback due to technicalities, and various other issues. Availability of land, obstructions in getting clearances and the last but not the least, shortage of funds is plaguing few projects. The delays have unfortunately resulted in a steep escalation in the development costs of these ongoing projects.
The State Government is doing its best to revive these prestigious projects, which promise to change the face of Kolkata and its suburbs in a few yearsâ€™ time.
Some of the projects that currently have certain impediments along the route include the Rs. 2,900 crore Joka-BBD Bag metro project, the Dum Dumâ€“Barrackpore metro link, and the Dum Dumâ€“Barrackpore metro link, jointly undertaken by the Union Urban Development Ministry and the Indian Railways.
However, work is going on in the areas with no problems and all the stakeholders are expected to remove the bottlenecks in due course through discussions.
Communication and Connectivity Infrastructure
The stateâ€™s capital, Kolkata, offers over 580 Mbps of international satellite connectivity through VSNL and 5 STPI Earth Stations, located at Kolkata, Siliguri, Haldia, Kharagpur, and Durgapur. The Bengal government believes that heightening IT capabilities can actually help the citizens uplift their quality of living. With a vision to further enhance the city’s communication infrastructure, the state government is partnering with private players like Bharti Airtel, Reliance Infocomm, and Vodafone to connect Kolkata with the rest of the world.
Though a lot needs to be done, things are really picking up the pace, thanks to the government’s dynamic policies, and pro-active participation in speeding up infrastructure project development in Kolkata. The quality is living in Kolkata is also slated for massive change for the better.