The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Silt havoc on sewers of Sealdah

Accumulated silt solidifying into rock in the underground brick sewers is upsetting the gravitational flow of sewer water in the Sealdah area. The problem cannot be addressed because of political interference in the execution of measures, like the eviction of encroachers and hawkers who have set up stalls or shanties on the sewers.

“There is no way we can reach the bottom of the sewers to excavate the silt and clean up the system,” said a civic official.

If the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) does not take immediate steps to remove the silt, sewerage services in the Sealdah-Bowbazar-Amherst Street-Narkeldanga belt will collapse in the near future, warned mayor-in-council member and local leader Pradip Ghosh.

“It is a tragedy whose gravity I fail to impress upon mayor Subrata Mukherjee and my colleague in charge of drainage, Rajiv Deb,” lamented Ghosh.

“The mayor and most of his council members are obsessed with the development of south Calcutta alone. The northern, central and eastern parts of the city have ceased to exist for them. It does not bother them that these parts have no durable civic facilities to offer to the tax-payers,” he added.

Mayoral council member Deb shot back: “Let him (Ghosh) first take the initiative to remove the encroachers and stall-owners from under the Sealdah flyover, clearing the manholes for the desilting drive.”

Deb said it puzzled him why Ghosh had not raised a similar stink during the tenure of the CPM board. “I will inspect the area with Ghosh on Monday morning,” Deb added.

Ghosh pointed out that the brick sewer under BB Ganguly Street meets the brick sewer under APC Road and AJC Bose Road, via Amherst Street and Surya Sen Street. The combined stream of sewage then reaches Palmer Bazar pumping station through Moulali.

Now, because of the heavy siltation, he said, the stretch between Saraswati Press and Prachi cinema did not allow the run-off water to pass through, and the flow had started moving towards Kaiser Street, after taking a reverse turn.

This reverse flow has intensified the deposition of silt as the water moves against the gradient. Ghosh pointed out that the brick sewers under the Sealdah flyover had not been cleaned for the past 30 years or so.

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