To tackle waterlogging this monsoon, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) authorities in a unique move have asked all the 14 director generals and deputy chief engineers heading different civic departments to be personally present at the pumping stations during heavy rainfall.
Acknowledging mismanagement on the part of the civic body, a rare and first-of-its kind circular from the municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed reads,
“It has come to our notice that during heavy showers the drainage pumping stations, which play most important role to remove accumulated rainwater from the streets of Kolkata.”
Ahmed in his circular (No.35 of 2013-14 dated July 13, 2013) had ordered director generals and deputy chief engineers of all departments to be present at the pumping stations during heavy rainfall.
The circular further says that the arrangement has been made with the approval of mayor Sovan Chatterjee.
“It is very strange to get such a circular. I could not find any meaning to such an exercise ordered upon us,” a senior director general on condition of anonymity told HT.
Reacting strongly against such a circular, another civic technocrat said, “What rubbish is this? Am I supposed to stand in front of the pumping station in the middle of the night after a hard day’s work tackling issues related to my department which has no connection either with the waterlogging or heavy showers?”
According to the circular, each of the director generals has been allotted a certain number of drainage pumping stations that they are supposed to oversee.
According to the circular, DG (water supply) Bibhas Kumar Maiti is supposed to oversee pumping stations at Mominpur, Chetla Lock and Nimakmahal.
Whereas DG (town planning) Dipankar Sinha will have to oversee proper functioning of drainage pumping stations at Jodhpur Park, LS - 3, 4, 6 and 7.
Again, the man responsible for overseeing proper functioning of all the pumping stations as well as problems related to waterlogging in the city, special officer (sewerage & drainage) Amit Kumar Roy had been assigned to supervise pumping stations at Ultadanga, Manicktala, Muraripukur and Rajabazar.
Making fun of the circular, another director general told HT, “It’s good. When I’ll face a crisis in my department, I will seek similar assistance from my fellow DGs.
And I, too, will oversee tree felling activities before the Puja as an additional job other than my departmental job.”
Calling it a teamwork to ensure better management during heavy rainfall, Chatterjee said, “Such efforts are made only to get rid off the city’s perennial problem of waterlogging.
More expert supervision at strategic places would mean better management of the problem.”