CHOTTU CHOWDHURY, CPM councillor of Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) ward no. 67, met readers of The Telegraph at the Talbagan health centre to reply to their queries. Participants included Sailendranath Banerjee, Bijoy Kumar Biswas, Subodh Das, Kartik Banerjee, Manju Roy, Madan Jha, Boren Sarkar, Ashok Mallick, Benu Dey and Chandan Roy
Kartik Banerjee: B.B. Chatterjee Road, off Bijon Setu, needs to be repaired. The potholes are a major hazard.
That road does not fall in my ward. However, I will ask the authorities concerned to get the road repaired on an urgent basis, as it is an approach road to my ward.
Manju Roy: Bondel Gate market is unapproachable because of the garbage mounds.
We have asked the local shopkeepers not to throw their refuse in the vat. Civic workers will go and collect it from them. We have also decided to shift the garbage bin near the mental hospital so that the approach road to the market can be kept cleaned.
Madan Jha: I live in the slum on Swinhoe Lane, near the railway siding. Before the flyover there was erected, there used to be a road that would lead to the station. The flyover has blocked the road and there is no alternate route to the station.
I sympathise with your problem. As far as the road to the station is concerned, nothing can be done at the moment. But I will talk to the railway authorities and try to find a way out.
Madan Jha: The surface drain has not been cleared for years. Local businessmen stock truckloads of stone chips on the temporary constructions they have built on the drain. The stone chips fall into the drain, making matters worse.
You must realise that most of the supply of the city’s stone chips is unloaded at the Ballygunge siding. As the businessmen had no alternative, they built these temporary structures on the surface drain. I am aware that this contributes to waterlogging in the area, as the sewer outlet gets choked. It is not possible for the five CMC workers that I have to clean the drain. Mayor Subrata Mukherjee will have to allow me to give out the job of cleaning the drain on contract. I hope to get the permission by January.
Boren Sarkar: I would like to know why the flyover at Bondel Gate is not ready yet.
Construction work on the eastern sector is nearly complete. We have issued a notice to the slum-dwellers of Lohapatti. Once they move out, construction work will start and according to public works department officials, the flyover will be ready by 2004.
Boren Sarkar: We had heard that a market — Sunil Babur Bazaar — would be constructed way back in 1997-1998. A plot was also handed over to the CMC and a foundation stone laid. What happened to it'
The original estimate given by CMC engineer Nilangsu Basu was Rs 83 lakh. He then upped the estimate to Rs 1.03 crore, which is in excess of the market rate. So the mayor stalled the project, saying it was ‘non-viable’. I submitted a deputation to him in 2002 and he has been assuring me of visiting the spot, but to date, he has not been able to make it.
Boren Sarkar: Mayor Mukherjee says funds from his MP’s account is always given to the wards for development work.
While going through the files for allocation of funds from his MP’s account, the mayor finds all kinds of issues to prevent me from getting the amount. I am not able to do anything about it. If you people come along with me when I go to meet the mayor and tell him about your problems, my job will be easier.
Benu Dey: Ponds on JS Bose Road were outlets for rainwater. Highrises stand on them now.
Waterlogging does take place, but not because the ponds have been filled up. JS Bose Road is a low area. Water from other areas accumulates there. We plan to level the pocket with the other areas of the locality.
Chandan Roy: A few stretches of road fall under both wards 66 and 67. These stretches are not being maintained at all.
To get these stretches repaired, permission has to be got from the councillor of ward no. 66, too. Most of the time, he does not cooperate. I will try to make him understand the problem.