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CM vows to tackle problem trio
The ground above the parking plaza which the chief minister inaugurated on Monday. (Amit Datta)

The chief minister on Monday promised steps to tackle three key problems facing the city — parking, pollution and fire.

“Parking is a major problem in the city and we are trying our best to solve it. Lack of roadspace and roadside parking are causing traffic snarls,” Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said after inaugurating an underground parking plaza at BBD Bag.

The plaza, opposite Writers’ Buildings, has been set up at a cost of Rs 44 crore and has space for 600 cars.

A senior officer of the traffic department, however, said sorting out the traffic mess was easier said than done.

“The city needs several flyovers to address the problem of lack of roadspace. Besides, political parties should refrain from holding the city to ransom by organising rallies on weekdays,” the officer said.

Incidentally, the chief minister’s comment came on a day large parts of the city were clogged by a Left Front rally in the Metro channel.

The chief minister also expressed concern over the rise in pollution levels. “We are taking measures to rid the city of pollution. We have to make the city greener and preserve water bodies,” Bhattacharjee said.

Green activist Subhash Dutta, however, accused the chief minister of preaching what his government “has never practised”.

“The high court had in 2007 ordered the relocation of the Esplanade bus stand to reduce pollution in the heart of the city. The government is yet to act on it. The army has accused police and the PWD of ‘failing miserably’ to protect the Maidan,” said Dutta.

Speaking on fire hazards, the chief minister said: “We have to take stringent measures against residential-cum-commercial buildings where safety measures have not been put in place. It becomes a hopeless situation if any such building catches fire.”

Fire minister Pratim Chatterjee, whose department has been under the scanner following the Stephen Court blaze, was on the dais along with PWD minister Kshiti Goswami and finance minister Asim Dasgupta.

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