Category Archives: Business & Economy

CM to give awards to nine at fest

Siliguri:

The chief minister will present Banga Ratna to nine persons from north Bengal for their contribution in different fields at the inauguration of the Uttar Banga Utsav here on Monday.

Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to launch the eight-day cultural fest at Kanchenjungha Stadium here.

Official sources have said among the recipients of the Banga Ratna are Manas Dasgupta (economist from Darjeeling), Dinesh Chandra Roy (researcher on folk culture of the region from Jalpaiguri), Prem Kumar Bhutia (social worker of Kalimpong) and Debkumar Mukherjee (educationist from Cooch Behar).

The others are Malin Das (folk music instrumentalist of Cooch Behar), Dilip Kumar Roy (writer from Alipurduar), Prem Bihari Thakur (retired teacher from North Dinajpur), Tapas Kundu (researcher on Molecular Biology from South Dinajpur) and Radhagobinda Roy (social worker of Malda).

“Each award will carry a prize of Rs 1 lakh, a shawl and a certificate.

Apart from the awards, a total of 54 meritorious students from eight districts of north Bengal will get Rs 10,000 each from the chief minister.

Thirteen of them will get the assistance at the inaugural and the rest will be provided with the amounts by the administrations of their respective districts,” an official of the organising committee of the festival said.

source: http://www.telegraphindia.com / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Home> West Bengal / by Bireswar Banerjee / January 08th, 2018

Fish & veg farm success

The plants grown using aquaponics

Jalpaiguri:

Two youths in Jalpaiguri have achieved success in combined fish and vegetable farming through an old technology and earned accolades from officials of the district administration who are now planning to showcase their success as an example before farmers.

Arkaprabha Das and Subhadip Mitra have introduced aquaponics, a technology where water is used both for fish and vegetable farming, on a one-bigha plot near Canal More under Kharia panchayat of Jalpaiguri Sadar block, 8km from the town.

With assistance provided by the Fish Farmers’ Development Agency and the district administration, they have come up with the project.

They have dug four ponds, measuring around 30ft by 15ft with a depth of 5-6ft, where they are farming different species of hatchlings like pabda (Indian catfish), punti (swamp barb), telapia (Indian tilapia), shingi (stinging catfish), magur (walking catfish) and chitol (clown knifefish).

“In these ponds, the growth of fishes would be high as compared to other ponds measuring around four-five bighas of land. In those ponds, it takes around six to seven months for fishes to grow but here, the fishes would be of similar sizes within 75 days,” said Das.

Unlike other ponds where the water is stagnant, the water here, which is mixed with the waste released by fishes, is channelized through pipes, which have holes above. On these pipes, the duo have planted marigold shrubs and flowers are also growing on those pipes.

“Due to presence of nutrients in the water, the flowers are also growing steadily. We are then diverting the water to bed (a flat structure) where the water is flown through pebbles. The water here is getting purified while we have planted vegetables on the bed, which are getting the nutrients,” he said.

From this bed, the water is being shifted another bed, known as flowing bed. There, though the water has been kept covered, flowers, strawberry and chillies have been planted above the cover.

In course of the process, ammonia from water is being removed and nitrogen compounds present in it help in growth of plants. Also, the water, while being diverted back to the ponds carries fresh oxygen, which helps in growth of fishes.

“It is old technology but is hardly used by cultivators,” said an official of the district fisheries department.

“We feel aquaponics should be largely used in our state. It can expedite production of fishes, vegetables and flowers. In total, around Rs 5 lakhs or so has been spent for the project. We will keep on helping them in the initiative,” Somnath Chakraborty, the chief executive officer of Fish Farmers’ Development Agency, said.

Rachna Bhagat, DM, Jalpaiguri, said they will showcase the success story among cultivators of the district.

“It is a unique project. We will apprise other cultivators and those who are into fish farming, about the technology,” she said.

source: http://www.telegraphindia.com / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Home> West Bengal / by The Telegraph Correspondent / January 06th, 2018

Drone duo soar in start-up dream Army and city police place orders

A drone from RC Hobbytech Solutions Pvt Ltd being tested at the Indian Museum

Calcutta:

A start-up born out of a career setback has started soaring on the rotor blades of drones.

RC Hobbytech Solutions Pvt Ltd, started by two friends, specialises in building unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, and has already bagged orders from the Indian Army, the railways and Calcutta police, among others.

Flooded with contracts, the fledgling start-up is servicing these orders with a soft loan from IIM Calcutta, project-based finance from banks and the Rs 1.5 crore it won in a competition launched by Balmer Lawrie under the Startup India scheme in November.

For co-founder Biswajit Dey, a graduate in aeronautical engineering from St Peter’s University in Chennai, RC Hobbytech was a seed sown by the disappointment of missing out on a chance to join the Army Aviation Corps because of an accident that put him in hospital for three-and-a-half months.

A dejected Biswajit came to Calcutta to meet his school friend Ritesh Kanu, who had just graduated in business management from Techno India Salt Lake and was to appear for an interview at the RBI.

Ritesh didn’t go for the interview. Instead, he and Biswajit decided to launch their start-up.

“I liked making drones and fiddling with them while Ritesh was trained to market them. That made us a good team,” said Biswajit, who learnt the basics of drone technology in college. “There is a huge market for unmanned aerial vehicles in agriculture, surveillance and mining,” said Ritesh.

Co-founders of RC Hobbytech Solutions Pvt Ltd Biswajit Dey and (right) Ritesh Kanu.
Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha

RC Hobbytech is working on drone technology to replace the army’s system of detecting intruders along the country’s vast borders. “The army sets up poles with two free-hanging bottles to detect intruders. Whenever an infiltrator tries to cross a border fence, the bottles make a noise and alert the sentries at the forward post. They have electric fences but the wiring can be cut and the alarm system switched off,” Ritesh said.

The start-up’s Drones Tech Lab division has devised an Intruder Detection System based on GPS for the army. The system sends alerts to the forward post and control room in three seconds whenever an intruder is detected. The information includes the exact position of the suspected infiltrator.

“Our system is based on sensors and also sends messages over mobile phone, giving the correct location,” said Biswajit.

A pilot run of the system at Udhampur in Kashmir from March to April earned a letter of appreciation from the army, Biswajit said.

He is currently modifying the system to give it an industrial finish along with camouflage.

From a drone start-up, Biswajit and Ritesh are now a “solutions provider in surveillance industry, leveraging unmanned technology and integrating hardware, software and data analysis”.

They had started with a capital of Rs 4 lakh in 2014 and ended up burning the cash in a year. When their families started asking what they were up to, the duo stopped going home. They then floated a company called EduRade to teach drone technology in institutes and raise money. “It was in 2016 that we pitched for incubation at IIM Calcutta. We met Subhranghshu Sanyal, CEO of the IIMC Innovation Park, at an event and he liked our product. We were incubated in October 2016,” Biswajit recalled.

Sanyal is impressed with what the duo have done so far. “They are providing real-time solutions to problems that are quite risky for human beings to solve. Their work for the army takes risk away and improves accuracy, which is fantastic,” he said.

source: http://www.telegraphindia.com / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Home> Calcutta / by Anasuiya Basu / December 28th, 2017

Big CAT is ready to land

Dum Dum:

Precision landing in dense winter fog with a visibility limit of 50 metres will become possible at Calcutta airport from January 4, when the Category III-B instrument landing system makes it debut on the primary runway.

An official of the Airports Authority of India said on Monday that pilots trained to land aircraft in low visibility were practising assisted touchdown during non-peak hours. “Visibility is fine as of now but pilots are having drills in preparation for the launch.”

He said air traffic control personnel were also acquainting themselves with the new system.

CAT III-B, the answer to fog-induced flight delays almost every January, was sanctioned for the city airport in early 2014 and cost Rs 130 crore to install. Metro had reported on November 30 about the instrument landing system awaiting a final clearance by the directorate-general of civil aviation.

“All inspections have been completed and we are ready for operations. We will be providing the facility by the cut-off date and it is up to the airlines to use it,” the official said.

To be able to use the CAT III-B system, airlines need compatible aircraft and pilots trained to operate in low-visibility conditions.

Captain Sarvesh Gupta, the chairman of the airline operators’ committee in Calcutta, said most pilots flying in India were trained in CAT III-B operations. It pays for airlines to have pilots compliant with CAT III-B procedures because fog delays translate into loss of revenue.

Between late December and mid-February, flights are often disrupted because of dense fog in the morning and night. According to officials, such disruptions usually happen between 3am and 9am, when the maximum number of flights operate.

The CAT II instrument landing system currently in operation enables aircraft to land till visibility of 350m. This is inadequate for a city where visibility often dips much lower in winter.

Whenever flights have to be diverted, not only do passengers suffer but affected airlines also take a financial hit. Apart from burning additional fuel, an airline has to pay landing and parking charges at the alternative airport. If the delay is long, arranging accommodation for passengers entails more expenditure.

“When hundreds of passengers are stranded at an airport, infrastructure is tested as well. The washrooms are used by more people than they can handle and there is sometimes no place for passengers to even sit,” Gupta said.

Airport officials expect CAT III-B to almost eliminate fog-induced disruptions because visibility hardly, if ever, drops below 50m in Calcutta.

The number of lights along the centreline of the primary runway have been doubled as part of the upgrade from CAT-II to III-B.

The new instrument landing system has been installed on the southern side of the primary runway because the wind blows from north to south during winter in these parts. A tailwind would increase the possibility of an aircraft overshooting the runway while landing.

The new system also includes an advanced signalling mechanism.

source: http://www.telegraphindia.com / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Home> Calutta / by Sanjay Mandal / December 19th, 2017

Masterclass for scientists

Mohanpur:

The Newton Bhabha Fund on Thursday started a workshop for scientists on the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research’s Calcutta campus at Mohanpur in Nadia.

The three-day workshop aims to involve scientists from across the globe and the IISER in social and economic development, Sourav Pal, the IISER Calcutta director, said after inaugurating the workshop.

Scientific research should be industry-oriented instead of remaining confined within laboratories, Pal said.

“A huge amount of money is spent on research across the world. Many brains are being used at laboratories.

“But, it is high time that research findings are translated for the benefit of people through industries. It should be used for capacity-building of the researchers as well,” he said.

“A researcher should not be satisfied only by publishing his findings in a journal.”

The workshop, “Functional Nanomaterials: From Spectroscopy to Bioimaging”, is supported by a Researcher Link grant under the Newton Bhabha Fund.

Prasun Mandal of IISER Calcutta, who is the joint coordinator of the workshop, said the prime objective was to bring together chemists and researchers from various faculties to explore new ideas for social and economic development.

The Newton Bhabha Fund has organised the workshop in association with the University of Manchester, the British Council, the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry, and IISER Calcutta, Mandal said.

source: http://www.telegraphindia.com / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Home> Calcutta / by Subhasish Chaudhari / December 15th, 2017

ER observes 60 years of local trains

People take pictures of the special local train from Howrah to Sheoraphuli on Tuesday. / Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

Howrah:

More than 300 passengers travelled on a special Howrah-Sheoraphuli local train on Tuesday morning to mark 60 years of Eastern Railway’s first EMU local train service.

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had flagged off the first train between the two stations on December 12, 1957.

On Tuesday, the train was decorated with flowers and railway officials presented passengers with chocolates as many took selfies with the train.

Motorman Sekhar Chattopadhyay and guard Swapan Kumar Modi, both due for retirement in some months, flagged off the train at 11.52am from platform No. 8.

The train reached Sheoraphuli at 12.40pm.

The railway board had sanctioned the project in June 1954 and the first train pulled out of Howrah three years later.

Harindra Rao, GM, Eastern Railway, said the Sheoraphuli-Burdwan and Sheoraphuli-Tarakeswar sections were electrified by December 1965.

The electrification of Howrah-Burdwan Chord and Calcutta Chord link was completed in 1966, he said.

Today, Eastern Railway runs 1,393 EMU trains – 476 in Howrah division and 917 in Sealdah division – every day.

Sudhir Agrawal, additional general manager, and Manu Goel, divisional railway manager, Howrah, were present on the occasion.

source: http://www.telegraphindia.com / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Home> Calcutta / by Staff Reporter / December 13th, 2017

Kolkata Chinese makes it big with Tangra-style food in London

Kolkata :

Kolkata-born Chinese who took Tangra-style cuisine to London is planning to leverage the popularity of the Indo-Chinese food that he serves at his restaurant in Harrow to start a chain across UK.

Steven Lee, whose father had migrated to India in the 1940s from Guangdong province in China, was born in Kolkata in 1971 and grew up in Tangra, the Chinatown that once housed tanneries that have now been converted to restaurants.

Like most Chinese living in Kolkata, Lee had bland Chinese food at home. But it was the spicy Indian-Chinese served in Chinese restaurants that he loved.

“Indo-Chinese food is a Tangra creation that is now a worldwide sensation. This fusion is unique on its own and loved by foodies all over. It is different because this fusion is prepared by using Indian ingredients while still accepting the Chinese cooking technique,” explained Lee, who started Indo-Chinese kitchen bar Hakkaland named after the Tangra’s Hakka community.

While Lee left Kolkata to work in at China Garden — a popular Chinese restaurant by Nelson Wang in Mumbai — nearly 20 years ago, he still visits his relatives in Kolkata annually during the Chinese New Year.

Around 17 years ago, celebrity chef Udit Sakhel invited him to London to work at his restaurant Dalchini. There, Lee used his experience and knowledge of Tangra-type Chinese to introduced Indo-Chinese food. “I infused many new dishes to this fusion and Asian taste which was widely accepted in the UK and the restaurant was a huge success in early 2000s. “Keeping the multi-cultural diversity of UK in mind, I introduced Hakka Chicken, Ginger Chicken, Fish Pepper Salt, Tai Pai Paneer, Soya Chilli and a lot more,” Lee recounted.

After working for Dalchini at Wimbledon, Spice n Ice at Croydon and Bombay Wok at Hounslow, Lee teamed up with partners to launch Hakkaland a year ago. During Durga Puja, Lee’s restaurant served to Bengali patrons at the Ealing Town Hall.

Encouraged by the customer response, Lee now plans to make Hakkaland UK’s first Indo-Chinese restaurant chain with joints in Manchester, East London, Leeds, Lecister and Birmingham. Lee isn’t sure yet but if things go his way, he even has eyes on bringing his brand home to where it all started, Tangra.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata News / by Subhro Niyogi / TNN / November 20th, 2017

Alumni Mentor IIT Kharagpur Students for Social Entrepreneurship

Kolkata :

Alumni of IIT Kharagpur have come forward to mentor students of the esteemed Institute to encourage them pursue career in the area of Social Entrepreneurship. The activity is part of the Students-Alumni Meet organized by the Students’ Alumni Cell (SAC) of IIT Kharagpur.

The event was organized in collaboration with the alumni association at the Kolkata campus of IIT Kharagpur. The alumni shared their experience in the domain of Social Entrepreneurship.

“Few young people are aware of the opportunities in this area which is actually blooming keeping in mind the government schemes such as Standup India and Startup India in place,” said Vishal Singh, General Secretary of Students’ Alumni Cell.

The students organized a competition where alumni and students were grouped together into teams of 5 each and were given a problem statement related to Social Entrepreneurship to discuss and debate amongst them and come up with an implementable business model.

Under the guidance of the knowledgeable and experienced alumni in each team, the students came up with innovative ideas and talked about the necessity, economic stability and sustainability of their solutions. This also led to a healthy debate among the crowd about the pros and cons of the model and how it could be improvised.

Students in consultation with Alumni presented on various Social Entrepreneurship models on areas like Eco Tourism, Resource sustainability, Growth and development of villages using natural resources etc.

The group leaders have been asked to further work on the subject and send an executive summary of the proposed social Entrepreneurship model for circulation among Alumni so that they can suitably contribute for execution / sustainability of the model.

“We will review the projects and approach alumni who are experts in these domains to mentor the students on the project proposals to develop business models. Some of the domain experts were present during the event and several of the other alumni we will help the students connect with,” said Siddharth Roychowdhury, Secretary of IIT Kharagpur Alumni Association Kolkata Chapter.

The guest speaker of the event was IIT Kharagpur alumnus Shri Amitava Bhattacharya who is also an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and the founder of banglanatak.com, a social enterprise in the socio-cultural domain. He mesmerized the audience with a talk on his life journey and how it led him to found his successful venture banglanatak.com. His conceptualization and perception gave a new insight on the idea and notion of Social Entrepreneurship to the audience. Through banglanatak.com, Bhattacharya fosters inclusive and sustainable development using culture based approache for protection of rights of women, children and indigenous people.

“We have several other well-known social entrepreneurs from IIT Kharagpur like Dr. Harish Hande of SELCO, a Magsaysay Awardee, Shri Vinayak Lohani, Founder of Parivaar, a humanitarian institution, National Awardee for Child Welfare, Shri Dipak Basu, founder of Anudip Foundation, a nonprofit company dedicated to improving livelihoods of rural poor in developing countries through training in information technology and entrepreneurship.

These people have achieved more than personal success. Through their ventures they have brought significant changes in the world around. Through this initiative we are striving to inspire the students to explore opportunities in the domain of social entrepreneurship,” added Vishal.

SAC held similar events at Mumbai on ‘Make in India’ and Bangalore on career guidance. Similar events have been planned at Delhi and Hyderabad during the winter recess. “The Students Alumni Meet serves as a platform to encourage students from IIT Kharagpur look beyond the narrow idea of career for a livelihood and find a passion which they can use to impact the world.

The talent which the students of the Institute foster in the 4-5 years of study is much more than internships and placements and the alumni serve as just the perfect guide to open the realms of their passion which they can pursue as successful career” said Bharat Chandra, another student lead of the Cell.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata News> Schools & Colleges / November 16th, 2017

Sweet victory: Bengal wins bitter battle over rasogolla

Kolkata :

It was a bitter battle but, in the end, victory was sweet. Bengal has won the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Banglar Rasogolla, a sweet the state has almost been synonymous with, beating Odisha in a hard-fought war. The win came on Tuesday which was, ironically, World Diabetes Day.

The verdict comes after a two-year-two-month-old battle that the two states fought in the intellectual property wing of the ministry of commerce, which confers the tag. The war over the ubiquitous sweet was, by no means, simple: each state submitted reams of theses supporting their respective claims, drafted by historians, food technologists and even bure-aucrats. In the end, the first use of chhana (curdled milk) in making Bengal’s best-known sweet clinched victory.

The GI website mentions Banglar Rasogolla as “registered” for the coveted GI tag. The item was applicant number 533, and was registered as the 308th item to win the tag.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is in the UK now, expressed her joy in a tweet. “Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that #Bengal has been granted GI ( Geographical Indication) status for Rosogolla,” she wrote. State higher education minister Partha Chatterjee, too, was ecstatic.

“We had applied for the GI tag in 2015,” said food processing secretary Nandini Chakraborty. “Rasogolla — under the name Banglar Rasogolla — will be registered under the Food Processing and Horticulture Development Corporation Ltd.”

Bengal perhaps never imagined that it would one day have to stake a claim on the rasogolla, but a claim made by the Odisha government, on the day of Ulta Ratha, 2015, saying the day should be declared as Odisha’s Rasogolla Day, made it sit up and take note.

Soon, Odisha applied for a GI tag on the rasogolla and Bengal’s science and technology department, prodded by thousands of rasogolla fans, lodged a counter-claim. In September 2015, the state prepared a dossier containing all sorts of proof — documents, historical texts and analogies — in support of its claim that the rasogolla was native to Bengal, and had been invented in two stages in two completely different historical time zones. The claim was registered by the GI registrations office and separate investigations were launched to authenticate the respective claims.

The Bengal government consulted sweets researcher Haripada Bhowmick for the historicity of the rasogolla, while the Odisha government got Jagannath cult researcher Asit Mohanty to look into its claim. Bhowmick’s book ‘Rasogolla — Banglar Jagat Matano Abishkar’, has been used as part of the material that was submitted to the GI office. Odisha evoked its gods and temples while staking its claim, replete with references of how Lord Jagannath used the kheermohan, the precursor of the rasogolla, to appease his consort goddess Lakshmi. And why mythology alone, even ancient history — from the time of the Dandi Ramayana, an adaptation of the epic by Balaram Das of the 16th century — has been used as reference. Bengal, too, has argued that it can trace the roots of the rasogolla to the times of the Bhakti movement of the 15th century and how Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya might have taken the sweet, in its formative stage, from Bengal to Odisha, when he started residing in Puri. Food writers who have been watching this space said the two states agreed on the antiquity of the sweet, if not its place of origin.

“We stand vindicated today,” said Mohua Hom Chowdhury, representative of the state science and technology department, who had coordinated the process with the GI registration office. “There should not have been any debate in the first place. We were rooting for our Banglar Rasogolla, which should not be confused with their kheermohan or their pahala rasogolla, which might be later variations, but are completely different sweets.”

Bengal has explained that the art of rasogolla-making lies in the use of chhana (Bengal-style cottage cheese). “Bengal is the only state that uses chhana, which is curdled milk, to make sweets. The process of curdling is considered ‘unholy’ by most communities including Odiyas, who never offered any sweet to Lord Jagannath made of chhana. The temple records that contain details of the food that can be served to the Jagannath does not mention rasagolla anywhere. To prove its point, the Bengal dossier quotes liberally from historical texts, records and literature like ‘Nadia Kahini’ by Kumudnath Mullick, proceedings of the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad, translations from the ‘Chaitanya Charitamrita’, ‘Chandimangal’ by Kabikankan Mukunda, etc. Kheermohan is made of kheer or concentrated milk and pahala rossogolla, a variant of Bengal’s original sweet, is yellowish in colour, less soft and much more sweet.

“Odisha should apply for kheermohan and pahala rasogolla separately,” Hom Chowdhury added.BoxGI tag : What does it mean?It is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (town, region, or country)

Use of GI may act as certification that the product has certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical originWhat will happen now?Any sweet maker can apply to the state science and technology department for the Banglar Rasogolla GI tag. There will be an investigation as to whether he is using the right ingredients, in the right quantity and following the specified manufacting process to be worthy of the tag.What are the advantages ?The tag is a proof of authenticity and someone who has been awarded the tag is definitely superior to one who is still selling rasogolla but doesn’t have the tag.Other Bengal items with GI tagThere are 15 items from Bengal with the GI tag now, some of them are :

Darjeeling tea (drink), Lakshman bhog, fazli, himsagar, baluchari sarees, dhaniakhali sarees, Joynagar moya, Bardhaman Sitabhog, Bardhaman Mihidana, Gobindobhog rice, Tulaipanji rice, Banglar RasogollaGI tag awaited Sarpuria and Sarbhaja.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata News / by Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey / November 15th, 2017

How World War II cramped Kolkata airport runway

HIGHLIGHTS

Kolkata airport currently has a runway capacity of only 30 flights per hour

Airports Authority of India is considering a second airport for Kolkata.
________________________________________________________________________

Kolkata :

A decision taken during World War II has now come to haunt Kolkata airport’s growth prospects. The airport which currently has a runway capacity of only 30 flights per hour, could have handled twice the number of flights had there been a proper second runway at its disposal. But the plan to create a second cross runway in the east-west direction was junked and instead a parallel runway was built that cannot be used for simultaneous operations now because they do not meet safety parameters.

It is this runway constraint, coupled with lack of space for additional parking bays that is forcing Airports Authority of India to consider a second airport for Kolkata.

It was the Allied Forces’ fear of the airport at Dum Dum being bombed by Axis powers during World War II that led to the British opting for parallel runways instead of ones that cross each other. With Japanese bombers a constant threat, the Allied Forces felt that if a bomb was dropped at the point where the runways intersect, it would take out both runways. Instead, having them parallel would give them an opportunity to use the alternative runway if one was destroyed.

“Kolkata airport’s first landing strip dates back to the 1920s. It was later strengthened for use as taxiway and is still in use to taxi aircraft. Around 1932-33, a proper runway was constructed in the north-south direction. This is now the secondary runway at Kolkata airport. To cater to the increased requirement during WW II, it was decided to construct another runway around 1942-43. That is when the cross runway proposal was mooted and then dropped in favour of the parallel runway,” the source said.

While airports around the world have parallel runways in which flights take off and land simultaneously, it is not possible at Kolkata airport because the two runways are too close to each other. “When they were built, there were Dakota and Fokker planes with small wing span. The separation between the two runways at Kolkata airport at 213 metres was sufficient then. But as aircraft dimension changed, the minimum distance criteria was revised. Today’s Boeing and Airbus with large wing spans require a minimum distance of 760 metre between parallel runways. There is no space at Kolkata airport to create that separation as the terminal building is located to the west and boundary wall to the east,” an official said.

At present, the primary runway is used for flight operations with the secondary runway coming into play when the primary runway is shut down for maintenance or other exigencies.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Kolkata News / by Subhro Niyogi / TNN / November 14th, 2017