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Sewer project to tackle Bypass water woe

The civic body will build a 2.5km underground sewer network near Science City to tackle waterlogging along stretches of the Bypass and the Parama-Park Circus connector.

The Bypass stretch between the Ambedkar bridge and the Parama island, as well as a 100m stretch on the Park Circus-Parama island connector, are notorious for waterlogging.

Experts attribute the waterlogging to the absence of an underground sewer line on a 500-metre stretch between the Ambedkar bridge and Parama island. The stagnant water partly evaporates and the rest slowly flows into surface drains off the thoroughfares.

JBS Haldane Avenue — the official name of the stretch from Park Circus to Parama island — and the Bypass were built as speed corridors connecting east Calcutta with the city’s south and centre. Their importance has increased manifold over the past decade with the growing prominence of Calcutta’s east, including Salt Lake Sector V that has emerged as the second office hub after BBD Bag.

But the water accumulating after a spell of rain often forces vehicles to move at the pace of a hand-pulled rickshaw on a dry road.

“There is a 500m gap in the north-south sewer line along the Bypass, between the Ambedkar bridge and Parama island. We have decided to bridge the gap and augment the capacity of the region’s sewer network,” said an engineer of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation.

The sewer lines on either side of the 500m-gap release water into the city’s drainage channels.

But bridging the gap alone is not enough to tackle waterlogging, the engineer said. The civic body has to lay another 2km of underground sewer line that will carry water from the interiors of Topsia and release it into the main sewer line running beneath the Bypass.

“There is around a 2km-long open drain along the Park Circus connector that passes through the 500m-gap in the north-south sewer line. Once the gap is bridged, the surface drain, too, will have to be converted into an underground sewer line. So, the total sewer line to be built is 2.5km,” said the engineer.

The water of the Park Circus connector drains into the surface channel, which winds its way through the lanes of Topsia and merge into the Bainchtala canal that runs along the Basanti Highway.

“Often water from the surface drain spills over and floods the Bypass. We have to close the surface drain and build a underground sewer line along its route that will finally merge into the main sewer line running under the Bypass,” said the engineer.

Officials at the Calcutta Municipal Corporation said that once the Rs 10-crore project is ready, large stretches around Science City will be free of waterlogging.

The Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority maintains both JBS Haldane Avenue and the EM Bypass. But they had failed to reduce waterlogging in the area prompting state urban development and municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim to ask the CMC to do the needful.

The decision to build the 2.5km underground sewer line was taken at a meeting attended by municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed and CMDA engineers, among others.

“We have taken the decision to tackle waterlogging along the Park Circus-Bypas connector and around Parama island,” said the minister.

The problem of waterlogging reached a critical level this year.

On one occasion, the fire brigade had to be called to clear the water on the stretch, which is also a key approach to the Milan Mela, the city’s permanent fair ground.