The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dig too often, fix too slow

Aparna Niyogi, Trinamul Congress councillor of ward no. 70 of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), met readers of The Telegraph at her ward office, on Mohini Mohan Road, to reply to their queries. Participants included Usha Banerjee, Rabindranath Roy, Champa Mukherjee, Tapan Mitra, Bithi Sarkar, Bobby Bose, Debabrata Roy, Chhaya Dey, Harminder Singh, Ramesh Chowdhury, Swadesh Saha, Sumalay Banerjee, Amarnath Chakraborty and Biswanath Burman

Usha Banerjee: I am member-secretary of Kochi Sangha, a women’s organisation of the area. Every day, our members take a morning walk in Northern Park (Subhash Udyan). Sadly, after the constitutional, we have no place to sit for a rest. The shed you had built earlier does not accommodate all of us. Can you please make an alternative seating arrangement for us, as we are involved in social work and the park is an ideal meeting place for us, both in the mornings and evenings'

I am aware of your problem. As far as I remember, I had made a seating arrangement for 15 persons. The problem is that we cannot occupy too much of the ground in parks — they are meant for children to play in, as also to host the sporting activities of the adult members of our local clubs.

Recently, I have received a sanction of Rs 4 lakh from the MLA’s fund for beautification of the park. Mayor Subrata Mukherjee will also be visiting the park shortly and you can let him know about the problem you are facing. I will try to accommodate some more seating space. Apart from that, the gardener’s room will also be renovated.

I may also add that someone has constructed a hut right in the middle of the park. I intend to bring down the illegal construction by taking recourse to legal means.

Rabindranath Roy: I seek to draw your attention to two major problems that we face in the area. Our roads are dug up during every Durga puja to plant poles and erect barricades. But even after several months, these pits are not filled. The repair work takes longer when the electricity supply office or other utilities dig up the roads for reason or the other. The other problem is that often, manhole covers go missing from the pits and are replaced only after a considerable period of time. These are death traps and an open invitation to a mishap. Can you please do something about these'

You are right. Road repairs do take time. But I try to get these things done fast. Often, the problem lies elsewhere — the roads are dug up right after they have been relaid. Naturally, it takes time to get the job done on the same stretch for a second time and that too, in such a short interval.

About the manholes, I request all of you to let me know as early as possible whenever you see an open pit. Under the existing laws, the manhole cover is supposed to be replaced within 24 hours. I will attend to the problem immediately on being informed.

Tapan Mitra: Taking a cue from my earlier question about encroachment, I think proper measures should be taken against those who are constructing houses. They invariably leave the building materials dumped in a heap on the roads and pavements.

Usually, before construction begins, the owner of the plot takes a road permit. Once the ground-floor roof is constructed, however, he can and should no longer leave the materials out in the open. If you find any such cases, just let me know and I will get the stuff cleared.

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