The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sting squadron no problem

DILIP GUPTA, chairman, Bidhannagar Municipality, met the township’s residents at his municipality office. Participants included Ramen Das, Basanta Mukherjee, Bijon Mukherjee, Adhir Chakraborty, Air Vice-Marshal D. Chowdhury, Bejoy Narayan Chowdhury, Swapan Mitra, Subhra Pal, Samir Mazumdar, Diptimoy Ghosh, D. Roy, Sukumar Karmakar and Shyamadas Sengupta

Ramen Das: How do you plan to combat the mosquitoes'

The Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) has launched a drive but we are yet to follow suit because even now, we can sleep without mosquito nets. In Salt Lake, mosquitoes breed in the Keshtopur canal. But it should be noted that these mosquitoes do not cause malaria. Last year, we formed a committee to check the menace. The municipality has earmarked about Rs 12 lakh for the mosquito drive. Till today, there has been no report of malaria from mosquito bite.

Bejoy Narayan Chowdhury: A number of billboards are blocking the thoroughfares.

I agree. Earlier, billboards were put up only by utilities like the Calcutta Municipal Development Authority (CMDA), the department of urban development, Baranagar Municipality and so on. A survey was conducted of all the hoardings and they were then numbered for the records. We found that one-fifth of the billboards were not registered.

Advertisements were issued to locate the owners. When they did not turn up, the billboards were defaced and then destroyed. After that, I started receiving threat calls. Some of the callers asked me if I wanted to martyr myself or turn into another Sailen Das. However, I went on with my campaign. One firm got away without paying Rs 6 lakh, but I am sure to net it. I am certain that we can earn about a crore annually from these billboards. I have spoken to the minister concerned and officers of his department.

Basanta Mukherjee: The roads, specially those within the blocks, need immediate repairs.

Salt Lake has 23 wards and among them, Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh was distributed, according to their size and in consultation with the ward committees. We do not have enough funds for maintenance, so we have to work in phases. Moreover, we suffer from a funds crunch as we cannot collect tax because of some litigations. Before the Pujas, we did patch up some pits and potholes.

Adhir Chakraborty: Residents cannot pay tax because of litigation. But if one wants to pay taxes on his own, what is the arrangement for acceptance'

He can always pay on account.

Air Vice-Marshal D. Chowdhury: Drinking water is supplied from deep tubewells without proper treatment.

Actually, we need a serious rethink on the supply of water. When Salt Lake was established by then chief minister Bidhan Chandra Roy, we failed to foresee that the population would increase so rapidly. We do not suffer from any crisis of water because of the interlinked overhead tanks and the tubewells. We have sent a proposal to the government for reservoirs at Baranagar and Kamarhati.

Bijon Mukherjee: CF Block is not being swept.

Sweeping cannot be conducted regularly because of some problem with the contractors. I shall see to it that work is done in a systematic way.

Subhra Pal: We do not get the service of doctors at odd hours, though a number of reputed doctors live in the township.

We do have a large number of specialised doctors living here. But it is also true that we cannot avail of their services at odd hours. It would be a good idea to have a heart unit. We have a mother-and-child care centre. Early next year, we will unveil a polyclinic where doctors will be available at moderate rates.

D. Roy: Avenue III was to lead to the airport but work has not progressed at all.

That is an old problem. Work cannot progress because of some houses that came up in the middle. We have approached the CMDA to check whether proper civic amenities can be built in the surrounding areas so we can shift these people.

Swapan Mitra: Do residents have the scope for legal aid'

Within a short time, we will have a sub-divisional judicial magistrate’s court. Already, we have different courts like the juvenile court and others.

Swapan Mitra: Petty crime is up.

Actually, it is the duty of the police to check crime. Every day, all kinds of people enter the township. Still, we must see what can be done to curb crime.

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