More than 2,000 tonnes of silt were scooped out of the Bagjola canal and a peripheral channel in a bid to unclog the waterways that are supposed to drain water from New Town, Lake Town, Kestopur and adjoining areas.
The silt removed is enormous for the few hours of activity and points to the humongous task that awaits if the Bagjola and Kestopur canals are to be dredged properly.
On Friday, the water did recede somewhat from Action Area III of New Town. But at some housing complexes like Elita Garden Vista, Sukhobrishti Housing Complex and DLF New Town Heights, the basement parking lots and the roads leading to the estates are still flooded.
Officials of the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) and the public health engineering department (PHE) brought in excavators and cut the main roads in front of housing complexes so the water was drained out quickly into the Bagjola canal’s feeder.
A culvert was created by digging a section of the road that leads to the Akanda Keshori village, near the Techno City police station, so water could drain out fast.
“The canals are badly choked. We are doing everything and have even dug up roads and dividers to ensure that the water goes.down but we are having to pump out the water intermittently as the canal is filled to the brim,” said the official.
In Lake Town and parts of Dum Dum, the civic authorities opened gully pits and labourers scooped out the silt as well as garbage.
“We cleaned gully pits but the water level did not recede from several of our wards as both canals are overflowing,” said an official of Dum Dum Municipality.
Hydraulic excavators placed along the canals’ banks scooped out silt, some of which was deposited on the banks to raise the height of the embankments.
The NKDA had placed sandbags to plug the breaches in the embankments but they failed to serve their purpose.
NKDA chairman Debashis Sen said that with the Bagjola canal overflowing, these measures were not working adequately.
“It’s like pouring tea into a filled cup. We are putting in a lot of effort and teams are working overnight but the water level has not receded satisfactorily,” said Sen.