Water funds for Alipurduar
Alipurduar: The Alipurduar Municipality has received over Rs 100 crore to start water supply, the first trance of funds in the town of a lakh residents who don't have the facility yet.
The allocation of Rs 102 crore ahead of the civic polls this year for one of north Bengal's new districts - the other is Kalimpong - has come as a major boost for the Trinamul-run civic body and party rank and file.
"The allocation of Rs 102 crore will help Trinamul in the upcoming polls. In past six decades, none of the (civic) boards had succeeded in getting funds to start drinking water supply, a basic civic necessity, in the town," said an observer.
Trinamul councillors in the 60-year-old municipality who intend to make water one of the key planks in the campaign have to resolve another important issue - select a site for disposal of waste and start a solid-waste management project.
Drinking water supply and garbage disposal have been key issues in all civic polls, with parties making promises to address the problem. "But those (promises) were never met," said a resident of Alipuduar town.
Garbage disposal was problem as there was no proper dumping ground. "In fact, the people of Alipurduar have had to suffer for long as garbage collection has been irregular," said another resident of the town.
The funds allocation has buoyed Trinamul workers. "If work on these (water and garbage disposal) projects commence soon, we are confident people will support us overwhelmingly in all 20 wards" said a party worker.
Ashish Dutta, the chairman of the Alipurduar municipality, echoed the optimism. "We have succeeded in meeting the long-standing demands of residents. We have received Rs 102 crore for the drinking water project and will open tenders within a week. We want the service to start within 18 months. Also, the site for solid waste management has been selected. We have kept our promise," Dutta said.
Sources said water would be drawn from the Nonai river that skirts the town. It will be purified and sent to five reservoirs to be built in different locations. Water will be supplied to homes from these reservoirs.#