The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Saviour source pumps up water crisis
- Counter-charges fly over Garfa booster station while taps run dry in six wards

Months after the booster station was set up in Garfa, several wards of Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) in Jadavpur, Assembly constituency of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, are in the grip of a severe water crisis. While the CPM councillors allege that mismanagement in implementing the plans lay at the root of the problem, the civic authorities pin the blame on the state government.

The underground reservoir-cum-boosting station at Garfa, inaugurated by the chief minister on February 16 this year, was to cater to six wards — 103, 104, 105, 106 and parts of 107 and 109 — and a population of around two lakh. However, residents allege that instead of solving the crisis, a larger number of taps are running dry. Earlier, water would be supplied for seven hours from morning to evening. This has been reduced to less than four hours, they claim.

“The local deep tubewells that would supply water before the commissioning of the booster station still have to be operated. Otherwise, the scarcity would have been alarming,” said Ganesh Guhathakurta, former chairman of Borough 12, during whose tenure the plans for setting up the booster station was drawn up.

“There has been no technical survey of the underground distribution system from the Garfa station. The crisis is the fall-out of that,” added Guhathakurta. He alleged that the old pipes have not been replaced and are inadequate to supply water in a larger volume. According to him, the proposal by the former CPM-led civic board for laying a direct pipeline from Taratala to the Garfa station had not been implemented.

Present chairman of Borough 12 Sunil Chakraborty said the booster station was to generate eight million gallons of water. “However, only 2.65 million gallons are being supplied. A direct main pipeline, straight from Taratala, would have solved the crisis,” he said. Chakraborty alleged that supply during the day has decreased significantly.

But the CMC authorities put the onus on the state government. “The CMDA and state government have to implement the project. It is already with the urban development ministry,” Sovan Chatterjee, mayor-in-council member in charge of water supply, told Metro on Friday.

Chatterjee pointed out that the pipleline, instead of being laid from Taratala to the Tollygunge Circular Road crossing, has been installed from Jadavpur. “This is a Himalayan blunder,” he said.

The supply line to Garfa also caters to 16 connections in areas like Jodhpur Park, Golf Green, Chetla and Kalighat. We cannot cut off supply to these areas for filling up the Garfa station,” Chatterjee said. He claimed the problems would be sorted out by next week.

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