The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tech town wades to workstation

Wipro under water, IBM an island, PricewaterhouseCoopers more watery than pricey, Cognizant crying out for a canoe ' Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's showpiece Sector V was a sorry sight on Wednesday.

As Salt Lake Electronics Complex swam in a sea of civic sloth following early morning showers, it was all too evident that the hi-tech township lacked a basic tool ' drainage.

'The area has no drainage system and so, it is very difficult to drain out water. We deployed around 15 pumps but there was no clear channel through which to pump out the water,' admitted S.A. Ahmed, chairman of Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority. Ahmed expressed 'hope' that the water would recede by the evening, some 12 hours after the downpour.

Earlier this month, the chairman of the nodal body entrusted with the task of managing Sector V had said measures would be taken to ensure that the monsoon would not disrupt operations in the 24x7 work area.

On Wednesday, with the information technology (IT) hub afloat, officials admitted that merely the planning for the first phase of the drainage scheme for Sector V was in progress and Rs 2 crore has been earmarked for the sewage system in the current fiscal. 'The situation may improve reasonably by the next monsoon,' assured Ahmed.

D.K. Chaudhuri, CEO, Skytech Solutions, also had his sights set on relief before the rains next year. 'The situation was absolutely terrible. Attendance was down and we faced a lot of trouble. S.A. Ahmed has assured us of all possible help, but we do not think anything drastic can be done this year. We'll probably have to wait till next year.'

With access roads to all major companies clogged by rainwater and cars choking in the middle of the thoroughfare, techies wading to work were not impressed.

'This is pathetic. Such a shower is only to be expected at this time of the year. Why can't the authorities get their basic drainage facts right before pronouncing this the showpiece of the east' demanded one, trousers rolled up, dripping shoes in hand.

Adding to the water woes of Sector V were the craters and potholes lying submerged on the capital stretch from Cognizant Technology Solutions to the 215A bus stop. Although recent road repairs had been carried out and funds allocated, it all went down the drain on Wednesday.

'We are working on the first phase of the drainage scheme in Nabadiganta, but it is going to take some time,' confirmed Tapan Ghosh, a drainage expert on the job.

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