Development projects suffer as city’s civic body and its nodal agency fail to communicate

It seems that the communication gap between Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and its nodal agency,the Kolkata Environment Improvement Project (KEIP)...

Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata | Published:January 19, 2009 1:55 am

It seems that the communication gap between Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and its nodal agency,the Kolkata Environment Improvement Project (KEIP),is affecting the progress of several development projects in the city.

The KEIP has been assigned to execute the Asian Development Bank (ADB)- funded projects worth Rs 1,800 crore. After rigorous efforts of almost a year,the ADB allotted the funds for the projects. The civic body,however,has to repay the loan from its revenue funds because of the bank’s high interest rate.

But still,the KMC authorities do not appear to be well-informed about KEIP functioning. For instance,the first phase of KEIP’s lake rehabilitation project (worth Rs 3 crore) was meant to restore 10 city parks,including the Haji Mohammad Mohsin Square,College Square,Tala Park and Victoria Park.

The first phase of the project was completed in 2006 and handed over to the KMC. The parks,however,appear to be in a worse condition than earlier.

A reality check reveals that while pavement dwellers have again made their way to the Haji Mohammad Mohsin Park,the Victoria Park is open for goats to graze.

According to a senior official of the parks and squares department of KMC,KEIP is yet to begin work on the parks. A senior official of KEIP,however,said the project of restoring 10 parks has been completed two years ago and were handed over to the KMC in 2006. Even though the KEIP official came up with official documents of the handover,civic officials denied the fact.

Apart from the lake rehabilitation project,the much-hyped drainage and sewerage upgradation project and construction of new pumping stations in Behala are also hanging in uncertainty. In the recent past,the Mayor had said waterlogging will soon be a thing of the past for Behala residents,as four new storm-water drainage pumping stations are being constructed in Borough 14.

Sowmya Ganguly,Director General of KEIP,said: “No storm-water drainage pumping station was being constructed in Behala. Instead,there will be four dry weather flow pumping stations to pump out drain water.”

Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya looked helpless when asked about the communication gap between KMC and KEIP officials. “KMC departments do maintenance work after the KEIP completes the projects. It cannot be,however,denied that there is a serious communication gap between senior civic and KEIP officials. This is taking a toll on the ADB projects,” said Bhattacharya. He added that civic authorities were trying hard to ensure that the Rs 1,800-crore projects funded by the ADB is a success.

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