The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hawker bane of Howrah roads

GOPAL MUKHERJEE, mayor of Howrah Municipal Corporation, met readers of The Telegraph in his office last week. Participants included Ram Avatar Mundra, Nemai Charan Datta, Santimoy Mukherjee, Samir Chakraborty, Rabi Roy, Deep Chatterjee and Sailen Sen

Ram Avtar Mundra: The mushrooming of nursing homes, commercial establishments and beauty parlours in residential apartments is creating an unhealthy atmosphere. Canít this be checked in any way'

What you have pointed out is correct. But I must mention that before purchasing a flat, no one comes to the corporation to inquire about the flat. The promoter usually shows garage space in their building plans, but later they use it for commercial purposes, for which the corporation never issues any licences.

Ram Avtar Mundra: The stretch from Ram Krishnapur to Foreshore Road, used by thousands of office-goers and students, has become a nightmare. The road is potholed and always remains filled with dirty water. The situation has worsened with the onset of the monsoon. Please do something about it.

This stretch falls under the Calcutta Port Trustís (CPT) jurisdiction. The CPT is responsible for the maintenance of the road and it was asked to carry out repairs several times. I shall write to the authorities again.

Ram Avtar Mundra: All multi-storeyed buildings should have car-park facilities. Otherwise, a major traffic problem crops up when flat-owners park their cars outside their premises. Will you please ensure that promoters are not given the green light unless they allot space for parking cars'

The proposal for parking space in highrises is quite justified. When promoters apply to the corporation to get their plans sanctioned, they show space for parking. But later, they turn it into a market and disappear once the flats are handed over. In this regard, flat-owners must be alert and vocal.

Ram Avtar Mundra: Howrah was once the pride of Bengal. But now, we really feel sorry for the way garbage is piling up everywhere. Please take steps to keep the township clean.

People have a bad habit of dumping litter wherever they want. When caught red-handed, they promise not to repeat it. Awareness needs to be raised to check such nuisance and everyone must come forward.

Samir Chakraborty: Thousands of people cross Howrah station everyday. But the roads near the station always remain clogged with traffic. Is there any way out'

The problem is due to the large number of hawkers operating in the area. We have tried to evict them on several occasions. But every time, they have come back to encroach on the roads. You are probably aware that a large volume of traffic passes through Howrah daily. The inflow of passengers from all over the country also contributes to the rush. We have held several discussions with the traffic police and have redirected traffic on different routes. The situation is much better now.

Nemai Charan Datta: When NSC Road or G.T. Road was being repaired, a major portion had been left out, which was later occupied by hawkers. They are obstructing traffic movement now.

A portion of the road had been left out for constructing pavements. We are short of manpower and, so, have difficulties in driving away the encroachers.

Nemai Charan Datta: Howrahís sewerage system is in a shambles. Please take steps to improve it.

The residents are to be blamed for this. The litter they throw in the sewers chokes the entire line. These canít be cleaned manually.

Santimoy Mukherjee: Why has work on the Salkia flyover got stuck'

Work was stalled due to some litigation problems. But it will be resumed as soon as the legal tangle is resolved.

(To be continued)

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