Ever since its creation, New Town has been crying for rapid development of its basic infrastructure.
And, water happens to be high on the government’s priority list.
The state government has planned a 100 million gallon daily (MGD) water treatment plant in New Town.
The construction work began recently.
New Town, Salt Lake and South Dum Dum Municipality, Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority and other civic bodies in the area are also supposed to benefit from the project.
While New Town will get most of the water at almost 61%, Salt Lake will receive 20% of the treated surface water.
According to initial plans, untreated water from the Hooghly collected at Debendrabala Ghat in Chitpur was supposed to be channelised to Keshtopur canal through the New Cut canal via Gajnabi Bridge. This water was supposed to reach New Town through Kestopur Canal.
However, the plan was later scrapped owing to technical problems.
The government has now decided that pipelines will be used to bring in water directly from the Hooghly instead of using the old canals.
“The pipeline is being laid. You can witness the work if you travel along VIP Road. Work is being carried out at a fast pace,” Sujit Bose, MLA of Bidhannagar, said.
The public health engineering (PHE) department had asked Simplex Infrastructure to carry out the Rs. 435crore project of laying the 11.5 km-long pipeline from the Hooghly to Rajarhat. The diameter of the pipeline is six feet.
According to public health engineering department minister Subrata Mukherjee, the project would be over very soon, but he could not give a specific date for completion.
The water treatment plant in New Town would be of great help to Salt Lake, since it is plagued by water crisis, particularly, during the summer months.
Similar is the situation in South Dum Dum Municipality.
But the municipality has less reason to worry since it would get surface water supply from the end of this year since it is a part of a project that was approved in 2009 under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme.
The municipality would get water from Kamarhati water treatment plant.
At present, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) supplies 10 milion gallons of water per day to these municipalities. The water is divided between the two municipalities. Salt Lake would breathe a sigh of relief once the New Town water treatment plant comes up.
“We are hopeful that the project would be completed by early 2015. That would put an end to some existing problems,” Sujit Bose said.
The erstwhile Left Front government had planned a 40 million gallon daily capacity water treatment plant at New Town with a project estimation of Rs. 750 crore.
But keeping in mind the demand for water in both Salt Lake and adjoining areas, Subrata decided to upgrade the old project by adding 60 million gallon daily capacity to serve Salt Lake and a few neighbouring areas.
The decision was taken after the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress came to power in May 2011.