KOLKATA

This is indeed a problem akin to doing all of the 12 Herculean labours. How can Kolkata regain its glory of yesteryears, how exactly to make it the vibrant economy it once was and how to make it lose the epithet of a 'dying city'? As of now, it is floundering in wilderness. True, the regime there is steadily pushing ahead some future-focused investments, but very marginally and probably as part of feel-good signaling. .

It has to be emphasized that just like products and relationships, even a city has a life cycle and in times of trough, it has to reinvigorate itself. How to revitalize Kolkata is the basic problem confronting the people in power, if they are concerned. .

Historically embedded shackles have to be broken free. These are unionism, cadre funding, anti-industry attitudes and unsubstantiable supercilious mindset. It has to carve niches without thriving on being a vanilla trading portal to North-East. .

Besides the location, what value addition is it offering to this conduit? None as of now. It can be the connecting path to the only meaningful port of Hooghly to all of land-locked North-East, Nepal and Bhutan. It is slack in taking this role, an apathy that is allowing Myanmar to offer its ports for this need. .

Institutions in and around Kolkata are respected but are not very visible as the world community expects. Cultural isolation has to be discouraged and with better promotion designed to showcase Bengal's culture to the world in all its splendour, it can truly assume the role of aesthetic capital. Prosperity comes with street work, not with mere vigilance in protecting rights; political awareness is to be supported with productivity and work culture. .

No doubt its population is extremely aware of political activities, but it lacks a culture of industry and hard work. The obstructive unionism has mellowed over the years but it is still seen as non-respecting for economic growth. Bandhs, frequently called by both the state government and the Opposition, lead to loss of mandays and, consequently, of income. .

It would be a mammoth task arresting the flight of capital (so much has already flown to Delhi and Mumbai) and a tougher startegy is needed to bring in more investments. The mishandling of negative propaganda of likes of the Singur-Nano project is best avoided. .

Though projects are being won over, they are not having a smooth take-off. Many decades of continuity of governance by the Left has begun to show negative effects. The sooner the rectifications, the better it will be. .

COMPETITIVE STRENGTHS .


Good educational facilities
Good demographics
Encouraging income distribution

COMPETITIVE WEAKNESSES .

Poor spending pattern
Inappropriate strategy context
Unremarkable quality of life






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