Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Uniworld City, Revisited

My previous post on Unitech was titled Any Given Sunday! It was about 11 weeks ago,  in the second week of December 2010.Things seem to have taken a turn for the better, since.

This time I was accompanied by a neighbor of nearly 6 years. I had not known for as long that we shared the interest in New Town. For the purpose of this post, I will refer to him as T. His initial.

We drove down on a languid Sunday morning, making some stops on the way. We finally reached Uniworld City around noon. T was to be my passport to enter the secured environs of this city of what will be 68 larger than life towers, including Unitech Air – a cluster of 40 storied towers.

New Town Skyline *You can see what looks like sewer spots along the side of the road

From a distance the skyline did not look like it had changed much at all. But a closer look did tell a slightly different story.

Following changes were noticed :

  • The sewerage work seems to have taken off after being stalled for over a year.
  • The approach road in front of Uniworld City is finally under construction.
  • There seems to be more and more families who have come to live in at Uniworld City.
  • And there are more who are in the process of moving in.
  • Even though I do not have the official number, but about 20 families would be a fair estimate. Some times I can be dumb, or may be these are just tell tale signs of aging. It occurred to me later that I could have checked with the security guards on duty, to have a more accurate number.  
  • We spotted moving trucks during our visit, that tells me people are continuing to move in.
  • Some basic stores (grocery, pharmacy and beauty salons) have already come up with in this settlement.
  • All, encouraging signs these.

The 'Lagaan' TeamThis almost looks like a shot from Lagaan, the movie !

Road Construction Road work in progress

Road Construction

Uniworld Stores Daily needs store and a pharmacy

Uniworld StoresPurple Blaze – the beauty salon 

Bright Yellow Truck People moving in, in bright yellow moving trucks !

Children Play Area Aerial shot of the children’s play area

Tennis Court Tennis Court * Sorry, for the bad quality of this picture, taken from inside the car

Towering Tower Towering Tower

We took a driving tour of the Unitech campus and captured it on video. Have a look.

Below are some more pictures that were taken of the unit we inspected and Uniworld City in general.

Elevator Lobby


Living Room Master Bed Room They have provided for wooden flooring in both the bedrooms of this two bed room apartment

Walk-in Closet Walk in closet area just outside the bathroom attached with the master BR

Views from the  10th Floor Views from the 10th floor 

Signage Entrance Entrance Arches


Following are some more pictures of the road that goes further down from Uniworld City. This road is to be at some point connecting to the E.M. By pass; near the Science City rotary or so I am told. Work seems to be going on at brisk pace.

Road ConstructionRoad Roller Down The Road This picture was taken about 3 km down the road from Uniworld City.

The buildings in the horizon are those of the Uniworld towers.  T confirmed that electricity, water (boring water), intercom service have all been provided to the flat owners, who have been handed over their units.

There was a lot more information that I would have liked to dig up and serve up here. We only had a couple of hours to spare this Sunday. So we had to leave them out for another day.

Hope you find this information useful. Should you have specific questions about Uniworld City or any other project in the vicinity. Please drop me an email at : savenewtown@gmail.com and I shall do my best.

And yes, just to clarify my stand. This is just a voluntary service, I do not work for Unitech or any of it’s group companies and have no vested interest in providing this information. Information is provided as is without any guarantees either :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

To Action Area III in third gear !

It has been over a month now since the Bailey bridge connecting the rest of township to Action Area III collapsed. There is no news of replacing it with a new bridge yet. Instead what has come up is this signage.


So, as suggested we took the Bagjola Canal expressway to get to AA III – which has some of the shining stars of New Town – the much talked about and well advertised, the Keppel Magus venture Garden Elita Vista, Shapoorji Pallonji Mass Housing - Shukhobrishti, and the DLF project.

Check out this video for the ride to AA III, in third gear !

In my previous post, I have made it clear, how I have been enamored by the precise execution of the SP project. My stand feels vindicated, as nearly a dozen families have already moved in despite poor infrastructure in the area, bad roads, no daily need stores and even not very many neighbors.

In talking to a SP personnel, they confirmed that electricity has been brought to the LIG section of the housing, via underground cabling. There has been and still is stiff opposition in erecting power poles for overhead distribution of power. Also underground water is being bored for distributing to the residents. However lately some projects have been promised water to be supplied to the New Town area. Boring water tends to be prone to contamination, in addition to disturb the ecological balance of an area.

In the name of public transport there are some stray and rickety auto-rickshaws which run sporadic services to the area.

I accompanied a friend who has invested in the MIG section of the SP project. We were able to take a driving tour of the MIG site and also took a tour of the model apartment.


Just across the street, is Garden Elita Vista – A Keppel Magus venture, promising us Singapore in New Town.

23022011043 Keppel Magus

23022011044 Singapore in New Town

We walked inside the glass gates at the Elita Vista site, and met up with one of their executives Sourish. He identified us instantly from our many previous and frequent visits. He had his reasons to cast his doubt about our purpose of these visits. We had to tell him about the this blog the social cause we were serving. It helps me make me feel good about myself :)


We sat down and talked with Sourish and got his take on what he thinks of Action Area III and the infrastructural issues plaguing it. He confirmed that the electricity is being brought in with the aid of underground cabling. And HIDCO has okayed the developers to dig the ground for water. We agreed that the politics was damning the development and progress of New Town. He was not sure, if much would change post-elections either. If a new government is sworn in.

He liked the idea of this blog and asked me who do I intend to save it from ? Pat came the reply. From our political masters, who are using this as a tug of war. And even HIDCO, given their lackadaisical pace of work. Sourish came up with a good one – he said, ‘One can’t save a baby from it’s mother’. The inference being – New Town is the baby and HIDCO and our political masters being joint-mothers !

He was able to give us some stats. Only about 105 flats out of about 680 flats are all that are remaining. As per him, about 97% of the units have been purchased by end-users. He also added that phase 1 was to be handed over in October this year. Seeing the progress, it certainly seems doable. 23022011050

 Workers laying down underground electrical cables

26022011067The big cable spool !

To conclude, it does look like AA – III is gearing up for prime time. If the infrastructural activity keeps up the pace, along with the developers handing over the apartment to it’s rightful owners. Winds of change may be blowing in the direction it needs to. Let us at least hope so.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Guardians MIA – Missing in action!

With all the brouhaha, that does the rounds of New Town recently rechristened as Jyoti Nagar. Not many changes, except only superficial ones. HIDCO you sometimes figure gets deservedly slammed about not doing enough to boost infrastructure in a township touted by the state to be the best of best in the country.

So it was recently announced with a lot of fan fare that Kolkata police would be the new traffic custodians of New Town and would be responsible for upholding the letter of the traffic law. Click here for the TOI article on it.

The caveat however was that West Bengal police would still continue to be official legal guardians of New Town for matters anything other than traffic.

One trip down downtown New Town, shatters the myth. You would see that how blank promises and empty police booths stare upon us.

23022011037 *This picture was taken at a serene hour, where as peak hours are quite a contrast.  But you can see the empty police stand !

23022011055 Once again no policeman in sight, at a  newly erected police assistance booth !

23022011038 One of the few new air-conditioned buses that dot the streets of New Town and Calcutta.

First stop: The ‘main’ crossing near the bus terminus in New Town, just past the DLF Enclave. I wonder what does it take to convert this crossing into an automated traffic signal driven one. This is one of the most significant traffic points in New Town and it is completely unmanned. Leaving it to the drivers of their respective vehicles to have a free run. And a free run is exactly what they get. We were told, come February and we will see this township littered with the men in white ! However, we are ready to welcome March and they are no where to be seen.  It is really hard to understand the ambivalence of the state government in this matter.

Have a look at this video and see the ‘action video’ for yourself and see how the traffic manages itself without any monitoring, and this is not even peak hours. This video was taken in the dull afternoon hours.

Let us hope the powers that be, wake up to this and at least install a traffic light at this major intersection. How difficult can that be ? Instead of wasting money on flyovers that ‘fly over’ nothing !

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