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Lack of canal dredging prolongs waterlogging along EM Bypass

Pockets in Kasba, Mukundapur and Nayabad were flooded even on Wednesday evening

Subhajoy Roy | Published 16.09.21, 07:00 AM
A canal in Mukundapur, near the Bypass, with more than the usual volume of water on Wednesday.

A canal in Mukundapur, near the Bypass, with more than the usual volume of water on Wednesday.

Bishwarup Dutta

Lack of dredging and obstruction caused by work on the Garia-airport Metro corridor have led to a rise in the water level in canals along EM Bypass, resulting in slow draining out of water from Kasba, Mukundapur and Kalikapur, civic engineers said.

Pockets in Kasba, Mukundapur and Nayabad in southeast Kolkata were flooded even on Wednesday evening. These areas went under water after Tuesday’s heavy rain.

Residents said that over the past couple of years, the belt remained flooded for more than a day after almost every spell of prolonged downpour.

Kolkata Municipal Corporation engineers said waterlogging woes would persist till the canals were thoroughly dredged and the blockades put up for Metro construction in the Tollygunge-Panchannagram (TP) canal were fully removed.

“The water from the Kasba-Mukundapur-Kalikapur belt is drained into a number of minor canals, which merge with the TP canal,” said an engineer in the KMC’s drainage department.

“All these canals have not been dredged for years. Accumulation of silt has raised the height of the canals’ bed and reduced their capacity,” said another KMC engineer.

As a result, after spells of intense rain, the water level in the canals rises to a level that is higher than the pipes that drain water from roads.

“When the water level in a canal rises above drainage pipes, water from the canal pushes back into the pipes. As a result, the accumulated water cannot drain out,” said the engineer.

State irrigation minister Soumen Mahapatra said the KMC had written to the department requesting a thorough dredging of many canals.

“It is true the capacity of the canals has reduced because they have not been dredged for years. It will not happen overnight, but we are making preparations,” he said. 

As for the piers erected for the Metro work, a civic engineer said: “Rail Vikas Nigam Limited has removed some obstructions but the rest are still creating problems.”

An RVNL official said: “The only obstruction related to our construction is on one side of the TP canal. We have removed all other blockades. Our obstruction cannot be the reason for waterlogging.”

Last updated on 16.09.21, 07:00 AM
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