The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Taxing times in trade hub

TAPAS ROY, Trinamul Congress MLA from Burrabazar, met readers of The Telegraph at 6, Brabourne Road, to answer their queries. Participants included Ram Avatar Mundhra, Ram Rana, Birendra Shaw, Umaid Churaria, Z.H. Khan, N.K. Singh, Shyam Narayan Singh, Ajoy Singh and Irfan Abbas

Ram Avatar Mundhra: Burrabazar is the state’s trading hub. But the traders are annoyed with the government’s trade licence and value-added tax (VAT) policies. Some time ago, they downed their shutters for three days in protest. As an MLA, what role you think your party should play to save businessmen from unnecessary harassment'

My party has fought against VAT and I have taken individual initiatives to protest its imposition. If traders cannot conduct their business smoothly, how will a state progress' I interact regularly with the traders on various subjects. I attend their conferences to understand them better and acquaint myself with their problems. I feel they should be given a congenial atmosphere to ply their business.

Ram Avatar Mundhra: Burrabazar is saddled with twin problems — scarcity of drinking water and waterlogging. Is there any way out'

It is really sad that drinking water is scarce in these hot, summer days. It is the onus of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) to supply drinking water. I shall talk to the mayoral council member in charge of water so that the problem can be eased as early as possible.

I am aware that rainwater accumulates on Ezra Street, Brabourne Road, Raja Katra and the adjacent pockets. There are several reasons for this, chief being the dumping of plastic bags in drains. Everyone should be made aware of the menace of plastic bags. Still, I shall take up the matter with the mayoral council member in charge of drainage and sewerage in the CMC. Hopefully, the situation will be rectified before the monsoon sets in.

Birendra Shaw: We residents of Amratalla and Jackson Lane are not supplied with adequate drinking water. Will you please look into it'

The scarcity of drinking water is not exclusive to my constituency. To tide over the problem, we need more reservoirs and boosting pumps. In addition to that, the population of Burrabazar has increased manifold but the supply of drinking water has remained the same. The CMC is trying its best to tackle the situation.

Umaid Churaria: Traffic is largely static on Brabourne Road, and the volume is mind-boggling. Can’t anything be done to ensure a smooth flow'

I have brought the matter to the notice of the state government. I have also talked to the deputy commissioner of police in charge of traffic. Actually, the snarls are caused by all sorts of vehicles parked illegally. A bigger nuisance is the bus drivers, who stop their vehicles wherever they will to pick up passengers. And it’s not just the private buses that are to blame. State government buses, too, are extremely errant in this regard.

Ram Rana: I live in Chhatawala Gali. Here, the vat is not cleared regularly, and the filth gets scattered around.

Vats should be placed at such a spot that they do not turn into a health hazard. But, sometimes, due to want of space, this cannot be maintained. In Chhatawala Gali, I think we’ll have to look for an alternative spot for the vat to be shifted.

Z.H. Khan: In Nalini Haldar Lane, a building was built to house a health centre, with funds provided by local MP Mohammad Salim. He even inaugurated the building but the health centre never opened. Can you shed some light on this'

It is quite surprising that the building is lying idle when the area badly needs a health centre. I shall also talk to the MP and the mayoral council member in charge of health. That health centre should start soon.

Z.H. Khan: On Prinsep Street, the CMC had acquired a house and started an office. Earlier, it was proposed that a school would be set up there. What happened to the proposal'

I shall ask the mayoral council member concerned about the school. We badly need a school in the area, especially for girls. When we have the accommodation, opening up a school shouldn’t be a problem.

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