Mayor points to Mumbai while Calcutta goes under water

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 4.07.07

The weather gods showed mercy in the morning, as the maximum rainfall was recorded by the Alipore Met office between 3.30am and 8.30am.

But the callousness of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) ensured that Calcutta remained waterlogged for the next 12 hours, till the skies opened up again.

The outrage among victims of waterlogging could not dampen mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya’s spirit. “There is no point in engaging in a blame game. It is but natural that streets will get waterlogged after a heavy shower and that holds true for Calcutta, Mumbai, Bangalore or London,” argued Bhattacharyya, a practising lawyer.

“It is equally natural that the civic authorities provide adequate amenities so that the water level goes down once the rain stops,” countered Subhrajit Basu, also a lawyer.

With marooned monsoons becoming the order of 2007, Metro focuses on how the CMC has failed to deliver and what it needs to “naturally” do for its citizens.

Underground sewerage

CMC promise: The 180-km-long brick sewer will be cleaned

Ground reality: Hardly 25 km has been cleaned till now

Things to do:

Penal measures for dumping solid waste and plastic in sewer lines

Deployment of machines to clean sewer arteries

Removing encroachments from surface drains

Immediate repair of decrepit brick sewers.

Dug-up roads

CMC promise: No digging of roads in monsoon months by CMC or other agencies

Ground reality: Roads dug up in at least 30 key locations

Things to do:

All decisions on digging in monsoon months should be made in CMC headquarters

Agencies responsible for digging must inform the CMC after work is done

Borough executive engineers (civil) must be held responsible if roads are not restored to original condition.

Old pumps

CMC promise: Complete overhaul of the 19 drainage pumping stations

Ground reality: Blueprint of the overhaul not prepared even a year after the announcement

Things to do:

Immediate replacement of 60 of the 90 pumps in different drainage pumping stations, which are running at less than 30 per cent capacity

Coordination among agencies

CMC promise: Will make a special effort to work in synergy with the fisheries and irrigation departments

Ground reality: lAll the 10 lock gates at Bantala were kept shut till 7am on Tuesday, which resulted in heavy waterlogging across Calcutta

The CMC is not happy with the irrigation department and CEIP’s performance on re-excavation of outflow channels, which drain out water

Things to do:

Restoration of administrative control over the lock gates

More focus and budgetary provision for de-silting of the choked outflow channels.