The science and technology ministry of Russia has come up with a proposal for the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) on pollution control and environment management, relating to solid waste disposal in the city.
It is the first time the Russians have come forward to help in Calcutta’s civic infrastructure management, sources said.
A Russian delegation, led by environment minister S. Kotov and administrator of foreign relations Valery S. Roudnitsky, met mayor Subrata Mukherjee at the CMC headquarters on Wednesday and submitted a proposal for cooperation in establishing environment monitoring and pollution control systems.
“The Russians are interested in signing an MoU with us in this respect. They have offered to cushion 80 per cent of the total cost for the equipment and training,” said Mukherjee. The agreement is likely to be signed next month, he added.
The assistance programme includes training of civic conservancy personnel in Russia to make them adept in handling sophisticated equipment and to educate them in modern methods of garbage disposal.
Sources said the main thrust in the Russian scheme was to cut down the pollution load at Dhapa through a more scientific method of garbage dumping and round-the-clock pollution monitoring. Russian experts will visit the Dhapa dumping site and assess the situation before despatching the equipment.
The department of financial infrastructure development in the United Kingdom has already allotted a fund of Rs 230 crore to the CMC under its overseas development assistance (ODA) scheme to tone up and computerise the civic administration and its vigilance wing. “I have decided to utilise the funds for infrastructure development in Calcutta proper (wards 6 to 100),” said mayor Mukherjee. France, under its French Protocol Fund, had been providing financial and technical assistance to the city’s water supply management.
French companies, belonging to the French Water Club, have started mapping the underground water supply network from Shyambazar to Tollygunge.
The main objective of the French project is to check the underground leak of filtered water. According to the CMC’s estimate, about 40 million gallons of filtered water is wasted daily due to leaks in the underground water mains.
The Germans are providing similar financial and technical assistance in the water supply front for the added areas of Behala, Garden Reach and Jadavpur.