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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Bengal irrigation minister Partha Bhowmik, mayor Gautam Deb survey Siliguri rivulets

Rejuvenation of the Fuleswari and the Jorapani has been a longstanding demand of Siliguri residents, says Bhowmik

Bireswar Banerjee Siliguri Published 18.01.24, 04:58 AM
Minister Partha Bhowmik (centre, in black jacket), Siliguri mayor Gautam Deb (left) and deputy mayor (right) during the inspection of a rivulet in Siliguri on Wednesday.

Minister Partha Bhowmik (centre, in black jacket), Siliguri mayor Gautam Deb (left) and deputy mayor (right) during the inspection of a rivulet in Siliguri on Wednesday. Passang Yolmo

Bengal irrigation minister Partha Bhowmik, along with Siliguri mayor Gautam Deb and his deputy Ranjan Sarkar, inspected the Fuleswari and the Jorapani on Wednesday in the wake of the state government’s decision to take the initiative to rejuvenate the two rivulets flowing through the city.

“The rejuvenation of the Fuleswari and the Jorapani has been a longstanding demand of Siliguri residents. At a meeting with the mayor, we have elaborately discussed how to carry out the task,” Bhowmik told journalists after the visit.

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The rivulets are filled with garbage. There are silt deposits as well and encroachments narrowed both the streams.

After the Trinamul Congress came to power at the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC), the board approached chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the irrigation department last year with a demand to rejuvenate the streams. The civic board doesn’t have the infrastructure to carry out the work, the SMC authorities had said.

“The chief minister is finally meeting the demand of the people of Siliguri. By the end of this year, we expect to see some positive outcome of the drive that would be launched to clean the rivulets,” said the minister.

The mayor, while inspecting a number of sites through which the rivulets flow, was appreciative of the government.

“These days, both the streams have become a major reason for pollution in some areas of Siliguri. Its embankments were encroached, huge silts were deposited and the abrupt dumping of wastes left the streams almost in a dying state. The department will carry out de-siltation and the bridges which were constructed over the rivulets will be covered with nets on either side to prevent the throwing of garbage,” said Deb.

The civic body, he said, has also identified spots where silt has to be drawn from the beds of the rivulets.

“We want to conserve rivulets and let them flow naturally so that pollution can be checked. We also have plans to beautify some stretches of the embankments later,” Deb added.

According to a source, the civic body, in association with the irrigation department, will carry out similar projects for the stretches of the Maheshmari, the Panchanoi and the Sahu — three other streams which flow in and around Siliguri.

“These streams are also in similar conditions and need to be rejuvenated,” said a source at the SMC.

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