The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Taps run dry as ranks swell

NIRMAL MUKHERJEE, CPM councillor of ward no. 127 and leader of the Opposition in the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, met residents of the area at Sarsuna College. Participants included Sudin Kumar Nath, Ganga Narayan Pramanik, Debdas Saha, Asit Das, Bilas Bihari Biswas and Debidhan Banerjee

Sudin Kumar Nath: The formation of the satellite township has damaged the sewerage system in and around Sarsuna.

The area was used for cultivation before the township came up. So, sewer water from the adjacent areas accumulate here. To solve the problem, a surface drain was built through Biren Roy Road (West) and connected to the Begor canal. There is another proposal to dig a canal through Kashthodanga-Sonamukhi and a part of Sarsuna, to flow into the Charial. The government had okayed the proposal but men from the survey department were sent back by a section of residents. The survey team was heckled, too.

However, you will be glad to know that the Calcutta Municipal Corporation has received Rs 1,600 crore from the Asian Development Bank for work on the sewerage system in 51 wards, including 41 wards of the CMC. Letís pin our hopes on that.

Ganga Narayan Pramanik: We, residents of the satellite township, donít get enough water.

Your water comes from Garden Reach. The original number of connections was about 2,000. That now stands at 35,000. So, water is bound to be in short supply. However, there are two deep tubewells in the township that you could use. The supply problem has worsened because the present municipal board is not working properly. It issued bonds and raised money but because of improper utilisation, no results could be achieved.

Ganga Narayan Pramanik: In 1994, it was proposed that the road from Behala Chowrasta to Dakghar would be widened. But because of encroachment by some shop-owners, work could not progress.

It is a long-standing demand that Biren Roy Road (West) be widened. A fund of Rs 4.38 crore was sanctioned but work got stalled because of the encroachers. However, now that the Pujas are over, work should resume.

Ganga Narayan Pramanik: In case of any ailment, we have to turn to either Vidyasagar Hospital or SSKM Hospital. Canít we have a hospital here'

Sarsuna has its own health centre, though it serves mainly the poor people of Joka and Mahestala. We are trying to turn Vidyasagar Hospital into a model hospital by adding departments and facilities, including a full fledged cardiac wing.

Ganga Narayan Pramanik:The population of the township is on the upswing. But there are no government buses and the private services are erratic.

We are to trying to give the entire transport system of Sarsuna a more integrated shape. Some problems arose because of union trouble, which we are trying to sort out.

Debdas Saha: The CMC market at Sibrampur is lying closed. Will it be reopened'

But Sarsuna has four other big markets. The Sibrampur market was built at a cost of Rs 80 lakh and shops were alloted. But it could not take off because of some unavoidable reasons. However, attempts are being made to open it soon.

Asit Das: What ails Sarsuna College'

It was a dream to have a full-fledged college here. We got enough help from the CMC architects and local residents. Some individuals, like octogenarian Santosh Banerjee, rendered great service. We spent around Rs 5 crore to set up the college. Our plan was for a modern college, offering honours courses in nine subjects. We have shifted into the new building, where we plan to start bachelorís courses in business administration and cost accountancy. We propose to launch a three-year-degree law college too. There will be a bank on the premises to benefit the students, staff and the areaís residents.

Bilas Bihari Biswas: In Surya Sen Nagar, we have a primary school running since 1972, but it has yet to receive affiliation.

I shall push for its affiliation.

Debidhan Banerjee: As Behala and Thakurpukur police station were not quite adequate, an investigation centre was set up in the satellite township. But as population peaked, so did crime. Canít the centre be upgraded'

We are trying to do just that. We have a 10-cottah plot now for the police station. I hope work will start soon.

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