Bidhannagar (বিধাননগর), or Salt Lake City as it is popularly called, is a planned satellite town in the Indian state of West Bengal. It was developed between 1958 and 1965 to accommodate the burgeoning population of Kolkata, the state capital. It is now a hub of economic and social expansion and is famous as the centre for IT in the city. Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, was instrumental in formulating the plan to build this satellite area, and the township was named Bidhannagar in his honour. The city was built on a reclaimed salt-water lake, which gave rise to its popular name of "Salt Lake City". Demographically this is the most enriched part of Kolkata as it is very near to the airport. Many of the fast growing IT companies are springing in this area.
Being a planned city, Bidhannagar offers many facilities usually not available in many of the other older Indian cities. It has clean and well-maintained roads and sanitation, tree-clad boulevards, relatively pollution free environment, its own swimming pool, a large number of schools and educational institutions, the largest sports stadium in India the Yuva Bharati Krirangan, modern shopping malls such as City Centre, INOX multiplex, RDB Big Cinemas multiplex, an amusement park, the Netaji Subhas Sports Institute, a 5-star hotel (Hyatt Regency) and a vast array of Government offices that cater not only to the local town but to the entire city of Kolkata. Originally, Bidhannagar had been designed to accommodate the entire administrative apparatus of greater Kolkata, but this idea was dropped early during the planning.
Nicco Park, the first amusement park in eastern India, is located in the Sector IV, so also the Nalban Boating Complex. One of the largest shopping mall of Kolkata, City Centre, has come up near Central Park in 2004 with a built-up area of 400,000 sq ft (37,000 sq mt). Bidhannagar also contain few very good private and Government hospitals like AMRI, Anandalok Hospital, Kolkata Heart Research Institute, Columbia-Asia, Seva etc. Apart from this, there are 3 police stations, electricity offices, water supply tanks, sewerage water plants etc. as civic infrastructure. However, poor street lighting has made petty theft and eve teasing a recurrent problem. Another police station is likely to come up for policing only the sector V- the Information Technology hub.
The Information Technology hub is the centre of some of the notable IT/ITES Indian and multinational companies. Bidhannagar is also home to Central Park, (also called Banabitan) the largest park in the Kolkata urban area after the Maidan. Like the town it is situated in, it too has a more famous namesake in USA. The Central Park, which is about 100 acres (0.40 km sq), and comprises Banabitan administered by the Forest Department, the statues of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Swami Vivekananda and Kaji Najrul Islam, a central store of the Urban Development Department, has already been subjected to a greater scrutiny by the KMDA (Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority). The KMDA has been planning comprehensively for chalking out a master development plan for the beautification of the Central Park of Bidhannagar. The Central Park is regarded as the "Lung of Bidhannagar".
The Information Technology hub is the centre of some of the notable IT/ITES Indian and multinational companies. Around 1.2 Lakh people are Employed in Sector V and Sector III.The area is administered by Naba Diganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA). A Few of the Major Software companies located in Here includes:
- PwC,also serves as the India Head Quarters
- Cognizant Technology Solutions
- Tech Mahindra
- Ericsson Global Services
- Tata Interactive Systems
- HCL Technologies
- NIIT Technologies
- Descon Limited
- HSBC Global Resourcing
- CMC Limited