New Town – The City for the Future
The year 2020 was a reality check. It made you question things that were long forgotten. One major question being – how will the future look? While Venice got their swans back and Mumbai got their dolphins. We wonder what will the next generation get, considering the global meltdown and looming pandemic.
Well, New Town has the answer to it. As Kolkata is expanding itself, New Town is shifting towards being a more sustainable neighbourhood. That is future-ready in an eco-friendly manner. And here’s how it’s progressing.
New Town is the fifth city to be awarded the ‘platinum-rated Green City certificate’ by the Indian Green Building Council. Now the question lies, what makes a green building eco-friendly and sustainable? Office spaces like Ecospace Business Park have integrated public greens, open spaces and water bodies into their designs – thus breaking the monotony of work-life. Apart from green patches and open areas, the use of renewable resources is what makes them sustainable. Like wastewater management, rainwater harvesting and solar power.
Advancing Towards Zero Waste:
While the world is worried about waste, Now Town is putting good use to it. A zero-waste city in making, they have recycled cargo containers into pay-and-use toilets and initiated waste segregation – a mandate followed by every house, company and public place in the area. The township administrators have even partnered with an NGO to upcycle hazardous wastes instead of stockpiling them at dumping sites. How? Women from 100 self-help groups are making furniture, bags, jewellery and other home decoration items which are then being sold at the Zero Waste Shop in New Town.
Cycling street & app-based e-cycle:
The smart city of Kolkata has developed cycling tracks along major roads in the township. A healthy alternative for both body and the environment. With the launch of app-controlled e-cycles in 2020, cycling has gained popularity amongst residents and visitors of New Town. A convenient pollution-free vehicle, cycles and e-cycles are easy to travel in and around the township. The township administrators have set up stations to recharge the battery of e-cycles which run at 25km per hour. In case the battery runs out, you can pedal the remaining distance.
The clever switch to bio-toilets is what makes New Town the smart city of tomorrow. The idea behind bio-toilets is to decompose excreta with the help of digester tanks using specific high-grade bacteria. As a result, the sanitation problem is taken care of and owing to this sustainable waste treatment, the excreta decomposes into methane gas and water.
Smart Water Meter:
Groundwater depletion is a rising concern. Before it’s too late, New Town has come up with the idea of smart water meters. These water meters are proposed to be installed across the distribution pipeline from the water treatment plant to the overhead tanks and booster stations. This will help in the constant monitoring of water quality and supply. The data collected will further help in rectifying deviations faster.
Taking Charge Of e-Vehicles:
As we are shifting to e-vehicles, New Town is accommodating the charging stations for them. A fast-charging station by the name Powerbunk, next to the convention centre, is in process. The station would charge 25 electric four-wheelers simultaneously making it one of the largest public station of its kind in the country.
The open air under Biswa Bangla Gate is soon to turn into a green paradise. A place you can unwind with nature without losing touch on work or smart life. With manicured lawns and vertical gardens on the Airport-New Garia Metro pillar, this smart garden will offer free wi-fi and laptop charging points. Future-ready indeed.
Solar Powered Lights:
New Town has currently installed over 700 solar lights across 24 streets in New Town. These lights are fitted with solar panels which switch on automatically after sundown. According to reports, this eco-friendly measure has reduced the electricity bill by Rs. 3 lakhs per year. Apart from solar lights, the officials plan to include solar devices to generate solar power as a part of their green initiative. All this just to reduce the consumption of non-renewable energy.
Without a doubt, New Town, the smart city of Kolkata, plans to look at the bigger picture instead of just aiming for a technologically sound infrastructure. Be it taking care of sanitation or opting for renewable resources, the city is ticking off the list where technology & ecology will coexist together. Thus making a difference just like Ambuja Neotia, who have been following the steps of the green initiative by building eco-friendly spaces where nature and mankind live, work and unwind together.