Projects galore,yet South Kolkata reels under water crisis

Even though the Left Front-led Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has taken up projects worth Rs 600 crore for the revamp of the drinking water distribution system in the city...

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: February 23, 2009 3:07:18 am

Even though the Left Front-led Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has taken up projects worth Rs 600 crore for the revamp of the drinking water distribution system in the city,the residents of Behala,Garden Reach and Jadavpur continue to face a water crisis.

In the tenure of Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya,five booster pumping stations have been set up in places like New Park,Jorabagan,Behala and Watgunge. Two of the five booster pumping stations are located in Behala and were set up at a cost of Rs 5 crore.

Despite having two booster pumping stations,Behala either goes dry most of the time or it receives water of poor quality.

The local councillors claim the civic authorities deliberately do not supply adequate water to the area as it comes under the jurisdiction of Trinamool Congress councillors.

The situation took a turn for the worst after there was a breach in the 48-inches main water pipeline in the area while Kolkata Environment Improvement Project (KEIP) workers were carrying out drainage upgradation work.

“The civic body did not take any action for 30 hours after the breach. Water crisis is a perennial problem in the area. In spite of having two booster pumping stations,we receive inadequate water and have asked the KMC repeatedly to increase the supply in the area but to no avail,” said Ratna Sur,Chairman,borough 13 (Behala).

Other than Behala,Garden Reach also faces the same water crisis as the mercury starts rising. According to Member Mayor in Council,water supply,Mrinal Mondal,a Rs 29 crore water treatment plant was supposed to be completed by now,but it will take another year as the contractor delayed starting work. “The plot in Gandhi Maidan,earmarked for the water treatment plant,is on a low-lying land. For filling up the land the contractors were supposed to dump white sand in the area,” said Mondal.

“But the contractor started filling up the land with ash,which collapsed after some time. So the work got delayed. At present we are looking into the matter,” Mondal added.

The KMC in 2007,meanwhile,gave around Rs 36 crore to the Garden Reach Waterworks (GRW) for supplying 15 million gallons of water to borough 8,10,12,13,14 and 15. The civic authorities,however,do not have any clue whether the GRW supplies this volume of water according to the agreement between the KMC and GRW.

“We do not know exactly what volume of water is being supplied from the GRW. But we will soon start the metering system in the main distribution line of the GRW so that we can track it,” added Mondal.

Apart from this,the major projects for the city — the Rs 200 crore Dhapa water treatment plant and Rs 300 crore Tala to Palta water pipe line laying project — have recently been kicked off and are expected to be completed in a few years.

The Mayor said the drinking water crisis in the added areas will be addressed soon once the major drinking water projects are complete.

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