The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Autos yank buses off routes

PARASH DUTTA, Trinamul Congress MLA from Behala (East), met residents of the area at 40, Jyotish Roy Road, to answer their queries. Participants included Sumita Chowdhury, Prabir Pal, Gouri Roy, Biman Chakraborty, Tarak Singh, Sudama Thakur, Tapan Aich, Rabi Roy, Ramesh Prasad, Samar Kumar Das and Kartik Mondal

Sumita Chowdhury: I am headmistress of Sahapur Girls’ High School, at the crossing of B.L. Saha Road and Biren Roy Road. It is a long walk to class every day for student and teacher alike, as there are no bus services. Moreover, it is not possible for students to pay auto fares daily, as most of them come from lower middle-class famiies. Will you please arrange for a bus service'

I am aware of the problem. Till two years ago, buses on routes no. 21 and 40A and a minibus would ply through Biren Roy Road. But, quite mysteriously, all the services came to a halt after the Assembly election. I have spoken to the transport minister at least 20 times, if not more, on this issue. I also told chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, but nothing came of it. Some time ago, after a public hue and cry, the buses resumed plying, but sporadically.

All this is happening because the local autorickshaw union is controlled by Citu. These automen even beat up bus drivers and conductors wh wanted to resume services. A few months ago, when transport minister Subhas Chakraborty came to the area, I personally apprised him of the state of affairs. In addition, I mentioned the matter in the Assembly. However, I request you not to lose hope. I shall take up the matter in this Assembly session for a solution.

Sumita Chowdhury: Drug abuse is on the rise in Behala.

The local police are aware of drugs being sold in and around Behala. The addicts indulge in petty theft to pay for their supply. To stop this menace, residents of the area must come forward and help the police. We plan to launch a massive campaign against drugs. Local schools, clubs and eminent persons will join the drive to eradicate drugs.

SEAT OF LEARNING: Broken furniture at Sahapur Mathuranath Vidyapith. Pictures by Kishor Roy Chowdhury.

Prabir Pal: Land-sharks are filling up ponds without a care for the environment. They have filled up more than half of a 73-bigha pond, known as Charu Babur Pukur.

Landfill is not new to Behala. In the past, at least 10 ponds have been illegally filled up.

Charu Babur Pukur was lost to land-sharks a long time ago. There are at least 200 small factories around the pond. I brought the matter to the notice of mayor Subrata Mukherjee and fisheries minister Kironmoy Nanda, who visited the site. A few months ago, two persons were arrested for illegally filling up the pond.

Actually, the problem was aggravated during the tenure of my predecessors. All these ponds were filled up with garbage collected from Calcutta Municipal Corporation areas. But I have put a stop to this.

I have already forwarded a proposal to the fisheries minister for proper utilisation of the pond by introducing boating, fishing and other facilities. If the government agrees, it can earn revenue from the pond. A nice park can be laid around it.

Gouri Roy: We residents of Jyotish Roy Road (South) have no tubewells or even CMC taps. Moreover, the area is quite barren. If some trees could be planted, it would look nice and green.

I assure you that two deep tubewells will be sunk before the next budget. Not only that, in the coming monsoon, I shall try to supply some trees from the forest department so that they can be planted in your area.

Tarak Singh: Biswanath Sardar of Sahapur was admitted to SSKM Hospital. After recovery, the hospital did not release him as he was unable to pay the bills. What is the status now'

Sardar was admitted into a paying ward of SSKM, where he underwent surgery. But after recovery, he was unable to pay the bill. I approached the health minister and, ultimately, Sardar was released after the dues were written off by the department.

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