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Salt Lake sewers in for Canada clean-up

Salt Lake’s civic authorities are set to enter into a contract with a Canada-based company for clearing the township’s sewer systems, which officials say, may collapse in the near future if steps are not taken.

A preliminary meeting was held on Friday at the Bidhannagar Municipality office between the civic authorities and officials of Cubex Ltd, of Canada. “We will formally seek details of the project and an estimate from the Canadian firm next month,” said Dilip Gupta, municipality chairman. “The Canadians made a presentation of their products and the modus of operations on Friday, and we were satisfied with it,” Gupta added.

The infrastructure, manufactured by Cubex for clearing the sewerage system, costs Rs 1.5 crore, Gupta said. However, talks are on over giving the company the job on a contractual basis. “Even if we purchase the infrastructure, we do not have the technical know-how to operate the equipment. It would be better that we enter into a contract, by which the company will take charge of clearing the sewers of the township and simultaneously, train a few staff of the municipality. Later, we can buy the infrastructure and operate it on our own,” civic chief Gupta said.

With the municipality in a funds crunch, officials admitted it would be economical to enter into a contract, instead of investing money in buying equipment. “If we need to buy the infrastructure, we will have to approach the banks,” an official pointed out. Cubex representatives, he said, displayed the advanced techniques of clearing sewer lines by suction and pressure systems.

Salt Lake has a 277-km-long sewer line, with two outlet pipes passing under Keshtopur canal to the Bagjola sewerage treatment plant in Dum Dum. But, officials say, one of the pipes is choked and the other is partially so. “Layers of waste have accumulated for 40 years, since the inception of the township, and have turned into concrete, making it impossible for us to clear them,” a municipal official said.

“This causes trouble for residents, especially during monsoons, when sewer lines in many houses overflow,” the official said. “Salt Lake is a growing city and we need to improve the sewer system immediately,” he added.

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