SUBRATA MUKHERJEE, mayor, Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), met readers of The Telegraph at the CMC’s conference hall to answer their queries. Participants included Mohd Amiruzzaman, Abhijit Das, Samir Ganguly, Susanta Ghosh (chairman of Borough XIII), Diptimoy Ghosh, Gopal Roy (councillor of ward no. 112), G.C. Laha, Jitendranath Das, Arup Biswas (chairman of Borough X), Tej Kanwar Singh, Debu Roy Chowdhury, Bimal Bhattacharya and Shahid Hussain Khan
Abhijit Das: I am a resident of ward no. 86, in the Gariahat area. Here, work on the flyover has been continuing for a long time. The condition of the Gariahat crossing is particularly pitiable. Also, it was said that the zone under the flyover would be turned into a car park. That space has already been occupied by hawkers and vagabonds.
I am quite annoyed with what is going on in the city in the name of development. A number of agencies, like the CMC, CMDA, the CMWSA and others are working on a single project and they lack any kind of coordination. I have been shouting myself hoarse for the past three years to put an end to this. Never in my life have I seen such a slow pace of work. The agencies are busy with superficial gimmicks on the flyover that serve no useful purpose. And it looks like the work is unending. I am truly vexed with the Gariahat flyover project.
I had suggested a parking lot under the flyover but so far, nothing has been done.
Mohd Amiruzzaman: House-owners are harassed at the CMC offices over property mutation. A section of officers demand extra payment or ask them to produce papers that are quite impossible to obtain.
Any individual or collective body that clears its taxes but still cannot get the property matters set right may please come to me. Already, we have taken action against some officers for dereliction of duty.
Samir Ganguly: Pets are kept without licences. I think the CMC should be more stringent with the laws covering pets. Besides, the dogs dirty the locality.
I am giving the matter serious thought. I am not pushing for pet licences immediately, because before drawing up laws, one should check the amenities. A pet burial ground is only just coming up at Dhapa, though the demand has been a long-standing one. About dirtying the locality, blame the owners for their lack of civic sense.
Susanta Ghosh: With monsoon comes the fear of waterlogging. We have heard about the Asian Development Bank (ADB) projects. When will work start'
Frankly, the city didn’t have a sewerage system at all. Getting a foreign loan involves a lot of paperwork. However, it is expected that surface drainage work will start in September. We are informing every councillor and borough chairman about the plan for his ward or area. I can say definitely that the funds are ready and formalities are over. Work will start very soon.
Gopal Roy: Residents of areas adjacent to Tolly’s Nullah have to suffer severe waterlogging. The woes of residents of wards 111 to 114 know no bounds. It was said that the standing water would be drained out through the Charial canal via Rania. But is the Charial canal project in the ADB scheme'
The Charial canal project is included in the ADB plan. A treatment plant will come up there. It is really distressing that the tax-payers are having to suffer. At present, there’s nothing on, but a blame game between the Metro Railway authorities and the irrigation department. After the recent showers, my councillors had to pump out the water. In addition, I myself took the initiative to clear the clogged Charial and Moni canals.