The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Portable pumps to drain out rainwater

With monsoon barely months away, the drainage and sewerage department of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) has chalked out plans to keep waterlogging at bay, especially in the city’s low-lying pockets.

“We have identified 55 low-lying zones in the city, which include pockets of Camac Street, Shakespeare Sarani, Free School Street, Southend Park, Kasba, Ultadanga and the stretch between Lake Market and Deshapriya Park,” said member, mayor-in-council (drainage and sewerage), Rajiv Deb.

The drainage department will instal small portable pumps in lanes and bylanes to drain out stagnant water after a heavy shower. Civic employees will be trained in the technique of using the pumps at a workshop.

“Though the pumps are small, we have them in large numbers. So, flushing out water won’t take much time,” Deb said. The civic authorities said a cash crunch had prevented them from buying bigger and more powerful pumps this season.

A weeklong pre-monsoon awareness campaign will also be conducted in areas prone to waterlogging to make people aware of the importance of keeping the drains clean. The thrust of the campaign will be on the problems faced by people when surface drains are clogged by solid waste, including polythene bags, plastic glasses and other refuse, dumped into the sewers.

“People must know that they will have to bear with flooded streets after a shower if they allow clogging of surface drains or prevent civic workers from dredging the channels,” Deb pointed out. “One of the main factors behind waterlogging is the litter thrown by people on roadsides, which flows into the sewers along with rainwater and clogs them. If people have some civic sense and are a bit more careful, a lot of these problems can be avoided. Everyone must make an effort to make the city a better place to live in.”

According to Deb, a Rs 4.5-crore plan has been finalised to set up two drainage pumping stations at Majherhat and Kantapukur. The new 240-cusec German-made pump installed at the Ballygunge pumping station will be commissioned this month-end, once mayor Subrata Mukherjee returns from abroad. This is likely to improve the situation in several parts of south Calcutta.

“After all the measures we have taken, I hope the situation will not be bad this monsoon,” Deb added.

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