|Stretches to benefit
+Free School Street
+BB Ganguly Street +Bidhan Sarani
+MM Burman Street +Hatibagan
|According to CMC
A water pipe parallel to the underground tracks of the East West Metro from Subhas Sarobar in the east to the Hooghly in the west can rid the city proper of waterlogging, the Calcutta Municipal Corporation believes.
The civic body is working on a proposal to the Calcutta Metro Railway Corporation to either share the 4.6km tunnel for the underground tracks or use its technology to build a smaller parallel tunnel.
However, for the plan to succeed there has to be a convergence of intent of the Trinamul Congress-run civic body and the CPM-led state government. The Calcutta Metro Railway Corporation, which is building the East-West Metro, connecting Salt Lake in the east with Ramrajatala in Howrah in the west, is under the state transport department.
Although mayor Sovan Chatterjee met urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya after assuming office, there is no evidence yet of co-operation between the two sides for a project.
According to the CMC plan, the rainwater pipe will be connected to the city’s existing brick sewer network, which now struggles to hold the excess water after a heavy shower, resulting in waterlogging.
While the existing underground drainage network, which is over a century old, slopes down to the east, the proposed rainwater tube, running 50ft below, will slope towards the west.
Mayoral council member (drainage and sewerage) Rajib Deb said: “Over 20 waterlogging-prone pockets from Camac Street to Shyambazar will not go under water again if the project is undertaken.”
The south will benefit too because the new system will reduce the burden on the Palmer Bazar pumping station, Deb added.
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee has entrusted the CMC’s chief engineer (civil) P.K. Dua and the chief engineer (drainage and sewerage) Amit Roy to prepare a project report. “We will soon submit our proposal to the Calcutta Metro Railway Corporation,” said Chatterjee.
The civic body is ready to bear the additional cost for the water pipe project. “If the CMRC agrees, the benefit will be immense. Waterlogging will be a thing of the past and we will save a lot of money.”
According to civic engineers, if the rainwater tube is laid along with the work on the East-West Metro, the cost will be a third of what it would have otherwise been.
Of the 14.6km East-West Metro, only the 4.6km stretch between Subhas Sarobar and the river will be underground.
A senior engineer of the Calcutta Metro Railway Corporation refused to comment on the CMC plan.
Another engineer said accommodating the rainwater tube and the tracks in the same tunnel was fraught with danger. But a parallel tunnel is feasible, he added.