RABIN DEB, CPM legislator from Ballygunge and Chief Whip, government of West Bengal, met residents of the area at 94, Picnic Garden Road, to answer their queries. Participants included Arun Das, Bhaskar Roy Mitra, Shyamal Kumar Pal, Pradip Roy, Niranjan Chowdhury, Rana Chatterjee, Rabin Mukherjee, Sahiful Islam, Anand Kumar Jha and Shantanu Roy
Rana Chatterjee: With the Tiljala tanneries shifting to Bantala, the vacant plots have turned into dens for anti-socials.
True. But the tanneries are being shifted on the Supreme Court’s directives. Let us see what can be done with the plots.
Rana Chatterjee: There are a number of waterbodies in Picnic Garden that could be reclaimed and used. Are there any plans'
There are specific laws to save waterbodies. Local involvement is a must.Your proposal is most welcome.
Arun Das: Picnic Garden’s underground sewers are not cleaned regularly, leading to stagnation of water.
Cleaning sewers is the responsibility of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC). It is quite distressing that the civic body is falling back on the job, in spite of funds being granted by the local MP and MLA.
Rabin Mukherjee: I own a flat in Kasba. But the promoter will not give me a water connection.
This is a new problem faced mainly by those who buy flats from private promoters. In this regard, I suggest that before depositing any money, buyers must verify the credentials of the promoter. There is very little we can do to help, really. But for the greater common good, we’ll have to intervene.
Pradip Roy: Will you please take the initiative for a free reading library in the area' That will be a boon for book-lovers and needy students.
We have a privately-managed free reading room. Of course, I shall see if another could be built at Picnic Park.
Bhaskar Roy Mitra: A primary school on Sreedhar Roy Road, called Hemlata Primary School, has only two teachers.
The school has received support from the local MP’s and MLA’s funds. The school’s selection board has already interviewed a number of candidates for the posts of teachers.
Bhaskar Roy Mitra: The Tiljala-Topsia belt badly needs a community hall.
Work did begin on a community hall alongside the Kusthia housing complex, but progress has been extremely slow.
Shyamal Kumar Pal: At 94, Picnic Garden Road, we have a seven-cottah plot on which we could build a cultural centre.
We are in talks with the government for a community hall on the plot.
Pradip Roy: We have only one girls’ school. We need more, and a college, too.
Tiljala Girls’ High School is truly cramped for space. We are exploring whether professional courses can be started in Charu Chandra College. A college for girls is under consideration. However, we plan to start a Hindi-medium school immediately. One is badly needed.
Sahiful Islam: Do you plan to set up a school for girls of the minority community'
The Hindi school comes first. If space is available, an Urdu-medium school can be set up.
Sahiful Islam: Schoolchildren have to cross the railway tracks between Lohapul and Samshul Huda Road. That’s very risky. We need an underpass to avoid accidents.
The suggestion is welcome. Of course, if you submit a deputation, work becomes easier.
Sahiful Islam: There have been several blazes in the area. We need a fire station.
We had selected a site for a fire station but work cannot progress because of some disputes. We are still plot-hunting.
Rana Chatterjee: Do you have any platform to let residents know what you are doing for them or propose to'
In Ballygunge, we have a development committee. It usually takes stock of our activities. Its function is to monitor what needs to be done and what has already been done.