Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal and former capital of India, is a commercial, educational and cultural hub of the country and the most important metro in East India. The port of Kolkata is the oldest operating port in the country that was operational even during World War II. The real estate sector in the city grew by leaps and bounds towards the end of the 20th century with tremendous rise in investments during the same period. As Kolkata is one of the primary metros of India, the real estate sector is lively, with infrastructure projects driving demand in the market. The city is a benchmark for modernity in India, but it has also retained much of its old world charm. North Kolkata boasts of 19th century architecture and some of the cultural hallmarks of the city. At the same time, there are many businesses and IT hubs throughout the city including Kolkataâ€™s own Software Technology Park.
Stats and Facts
According to the provisional results of the 2011 national census, Kolkata Municipal Corporation has a total area of 185 sq. kms. While the total population was almost 4.5 million. This brings the population density to a little over 24,000 people per square kilometre. The total population of the urban agglomeration, which includes the urban and suburban areas, is a little over 14 million. The sex ratio (number of females for each male) of Kolkata is 928 including agglomeration and 899 without agglomeration. The child sex ratio is relatively higher at 946 including agglomeration and 930 without agglomeration. As of 2010, the crime rate in the city was well below the national average of 187.6 crimes per 100,000 at 117.3. This was the lowest crime rate among Indiaâ€™s largest cities. The average literacy rate in the Kolkata metropolitan area is 88.33%, as per the provisional results of the 2011 census. Of this, the male literacy rate is 90.93% and the female literacy rate is 85.53%. Kolkata has the highest number of married women using some form of contraceptive, at 77%, as of the last national family health survey. At $150 billion, the city has the third highest Gross Domestic Product among Indian cities, right behind Mumbai and New Delhi. The first newspaper in India – The Bengal Gazette – started publishing here in the year 1780. Kolkata has a total of 8 sister cities, including Jersey City in the USA, Naples in Italy, and Incheon in South Korea. The
Information Technology Sector
The IT sector in Kolkata is one of its key economic drivers, and has grown at a rate of up to 70% in 2006, which was double the national average at that time. The main influencer for the IT sector in Kolkata has been West Bengalâ€™s IT policy, which was announced in the year 2000. Sectors III and V in Bidhannagar, otherwise known as Salt Lake City, are the IT hubs of Kolkata and an estimated 1.2 lakh people are employed in the offices located here. Some of the companies that have their offices in the city include Tata Consultancy Services, Deloitte, Capgemini, Genpact, Lexmark, HCL, IBM, and HSBC.
The Port of Kolkata is Indiaâ€™s only major river port. The Shipping Corporation of India operates freight services to ports in India and other parts of the world, including Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, the largest airport (1670 acres) in Eastern India, connects Kolkata to other cities and countries by air. It is one of the two international airports in West Bengal. The city is part of the largest highway project in India, the Golden Quadrilateral, which connects it to other major cities like Chennai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Howrah and Sealdah are the two major railway stations in the city that connect it to other parts of the country. And the Circular Rail system encircles the whole of Kolkata. National Highway 34 also runs through Kolkata and is 261.5 kms in length. The cityâ€™s underground railway system – Kolkata Metro – is Indiaâ€™s oldest underground mass transport system. It runs for a total distance of 25.135 kms and was constructed from 1972 to 2010. Kolkata is the only city in India to have a tram network. The network is administered by the Calcutta Tramways Company and is restricted to certain areas in the city.
Kolkata Civic Administration
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) oversees the infrastructure development of the cityâ€™s wards â€“ a total of 141. These wards are divided among 15 boroughs which have an elected councillor each from among their councillor committees. KMC has a mayor, deputy mayor and ten other elected members through whom all the function is discharged. The KMC takes care of drainage, water supply, sewerage, sanitation, street lighting and solid waste management. Development of the metropolitan areas of the city are taken care of by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA). The KMDA comprises of an eleven member board that consists of elected representatives and bureaucrats who are nominated. The day-to-day functions of the KMDA are under the control of the Chief Executive Officer, who is a senior Indian Administrative Services officer.
Kolkataâ€™s infrastructure growth started in the 19th century with emergence of the industrial sector. British companies, thereafter, heavily invested in the cityâ€™s infrastructure. The next big spurt in the cityâ€™s development was the surge of investments in the year 2000. This led to the establishment of multiple hotels and shopping malls in the city and now Kolkata is one of the infrastructural marvels of the country. The healthcare infrastructure in Kolkata is worth mentioning as it has 48 government hospitals and over 300 private medical establishments as of 2010. The number of hospital beds for every 10,000 people in the city is above 60 â€“ higher than the national average which is below 10. Major infrastructure projects in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area are undertaken by KMDA.
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