DILIP GUPTA, chairman, Bidhannagar Municipality, met the township’s residents at his municipality office last week. Participants included Ramen Das, Basanta Mukherjee, Bijon Mukherjee, Adhir Chakraborty, Air Vice-Marshal D. Chowdhury, Bejoy Narayan Chowdhury, Swapan Mitra, Subhra Pal, Samir Mazumdar, Diptimoy Ghosh, D. Roy, Sukumar Karmakar and Shyamadas Sengupta
Swapan Mitra: Some parks are well-lit and maintained but some have turned into havens for criminals and anti-socials.
We look after the parks in Sector I. Residents of Sector II have expressed their keenness to hand over their parks to us. But we have told them that we will accept the parks only if they are well-maintained. Actually, we are financially handicapped, but we plan to decorate the parks with the help of the ward committees, block committees and, in some cases, with private firms as a joint venture.
Swapan Mitra: A majority of the township’s residents have their own cars but those who don’t suffer because of poor transport facilities.
Transport is not under the purview of the municipality. Still, I shall take up the matter with the transport department.
Swapan Mitra: Drug abuse is gaining ground. What can be done to check the menace'
Originally, Salt Lake was free from drugs. The menace spread gradually. A number of peddlers were arrested and the abuse was curbed effectively. If you feel that drugs are back in circulation, we shall have to have a sustained campaign and a joint drive to eradicate the problem.
Swapan Mitra: We residents feel the need for a social club.
Bidhan Chandra Roy’s concept of Salt Lake was that of a haven for the lower and middle-class people. It is now the residential address of rich people. Going by that consideration, we should have an elite club in the township.
Bejoy Narayan Chowdhury: In some areas, traffic police need to be posted to keep a check on rash driving.
I shall speak to the police for checks on rash driving.
Bejoy Narayan Chowdhury: In Salt Lake, we need an emergency transport service.
I am exploring various avenues for an emergency transport service. I have already thought of introducing three-wheelers that can accommodate nine passengers. In addition, an automobile company has brought out buses that are smaller than a minibus. We can introduce them in the township and this will also provide jobs to to unemployed youths.
Bejoy Narayan Chowdhury: We have a number of vacant plots where the government can set up schools and colleges.
In education, the government’s present policy is to support schools and colleges set up by private funds. In spite of that, I shall say that we have a municipal school where the standard of teaching is quite good. I plan to build a school in IA block, apart from eight other institutions across the township.
Bejoy Narayan Chowdhury: We need a library. Do you plan to build one'
We have libraries in and around Salt Lake. However, there is provision to build one soon.
Samir Mazumdar: In some areas, traders carry on their business by blocking footpaths. Is there any solution to this'
It is true that some people are conducting their business by occupying footpaths. We are taking action against them but what is required is public consciousness. Please do not allow anybody to occupy the township’s footpaths. I plan to levy fines on kerb encroachers.
Shyamadas Sengupta: I live in EC Block. Here, a number of private firms have set up shop, but we are not sure whether the houses have been built with proper permission.
I shall request the ward committee and also residents of the block to inform the municipality if any such house has been built by flouting the law.