Authorities at the Trinamool Congress-controlled Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) are planning to make use of satellite imagery to demarcate the exact limits and numbers every water body, tank and pond in Kolkata.
“We will soon launch a satellite survey of water bodies in the city. We plan to engage students and experts at the environment department of a reputed university to do the job,” member, mayor-in-council (environment) Sanchita Mondal told HT.
According to KMC records, the number of enlisted water bodies in the city stands at 4,300, while the physical existence figures at 3,417.
These satellite images will be used as a template to mark the number of water bodies, tanks and ponds in the city for urban planning in the future.
"Once survey maps demarcate the exact limits, both satellite and physical surveys will be undertaken by the students of the university,” the MMiC said. High-resolution satellite images will be processed and compared with civic survey department records and maps, to ascertain the real-time extent of water bodies in Kolkata.
This survey will be undertaken to locate the exact position of each water body, determine its latitudinal and longitudinal position, quality of the water and the exact measurements for further documentation, development and study.
“The process of they survey will enable us to locate possible encroachments, too. And the quality of the water body, which will indicate its present physical status, will make it clear for us, for further initiatives,” Mondal told HT.
Meanwhile, the MMiC has also written a letter to all councilors, in an appeal to them to submit, in writing, a list of water bodies in their respective wards with the KMC’s project management unit (PMU).
“PMU, KMC has contemplated the decision to incorporate of check, modify the existing departmental water tanks’ list for upgrading the same,” the letter reads.
All councilors have been asked to submit the list of water bodies along with all the details within a month, by December 5.
According to PMU officials, after Mondal took charge of the environment department in 2010, he had written a similar letter to all the councilors. However, the response had been dismal.
“Only about 40% of the councilors had come up with the list of water bodies in their respective wards, and others just didn’t respond,” said one civic boss.
However, this time, the MMiC’s appeal came after KMC chairman Satchidananda Banerjee also asked councilors for the submission of a list of water bodies at the October 13 House session.
“This might make some difference in the response,” said Mondal, ever the optimist. Not only will the university students concentrate on satellite image survey, but they will also be required to physically tally the list given by every councilor prior to the final listing of water bodies in the city.