The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Step to plug sewer leaks

The Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) has decided to crack down on houses and shops with broken sewer pipes that spill filth on roads or pavements.

From next week, drainage supervisors will identify such houses and serve a three-day ultimatum to the owners and occupants to repair the pipes. If no action is taken, the CMC will disconnect drainage connection to those buildings.

“People are welcome to inform the CMC control room at 2244-6015 if they come across such broken sewage pipes,” said mayor Subrata Mukherjee on Saturday.

Following complaints from pedestrians on nuisance caused by broken sewer and sewage lines, Mukherjee asked his council member, drainage and sewerage, Rajiv Deb to take harsh steps against such owners or occupants.

“We have received complaints on such broken sewage lines or pipes in buildings located on BB Ganguly Street, Bentinck Street, Meredith Street, Chandni Chowk, Sudder Street, Royd Street, Surya Sen Street, Motisil Street, Dacres Lane and British India Street,” Deb said during the day.

The problem with broken sewage pipes is acute in Burrabazar and in the congested alleys in north Calcutta where premises have been let out for residential or commercial purposes. In some of these buildings the landlords do not reside and the tenants avoid paying for repairs of the broken pipes.

In a building close to Orient cinema, for instance, a fruit juice shop has come up covering the broken sewer pipe of the building, Deb pointed out. A channel has been dug out on the pavement to drain the water to a gully pit. Often raw sewage pours on the road from the broken pipe of Great Eastern Hotel on British India Street, he added.

The situation becomes unbearable particularly after a heavy shower when water logging occurs.

According to Swapan Duttagupta, special officer, transport infrastructure development of the CMC, there are over three lakh buildings in the city proper and about 75 per cent of them are more than 60 years old. “If the problem of broken sewage pipe exists in 20 per cent of those buildings then the total number of pipes needed to be repaired or changed will be more than 20,000,” he pointed out.

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