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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

After eradicating dengue, KMC set to tackle flooding in Kolkata

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, November 25, 2013
First Published: 13:03 IST(25/11/2013) | Last Updated: 13:09 IST(25/11/2013)

Taking a cue from the success story of the health wing, which has almost won the battle against the deadly stings causing potentially fatal diseases like dengue and malaria, civic bosses mooted an initiative to get ready in advance for the next monsoon.

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Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) bosses are in the process of declaring Kolkata as a ‘dengue death free’ city this year and all credit goes to the advance planning initiative.

With 2014 the last monsoon for Mamata Banerjee’s men at the KMC before they face civic elections scheduled in summer 2015, mayor Sovan Chatterjee wants to make it a hassle free journey for Kolkatans.

Accordingly, an analysis and planning meeting was called on Saturday by municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed with different controlling officers representing departments of drainage and sewerage, solid waste management, health, lighting, engineering and roads.

Representatives from other gover nment a g encies like Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), Kolkata Improvement Trust (KIT) and Irrigation department of the West Bengal government also attended the meeting at the civic headquarters.

Monsoon meetings are generally held in the months of February-March every year. But to start off a bit in advance, this time it was scheduled in November.

“We discussed why despite heavy preparedness and spending crores for waterlogging management, the city still was under water during monsoon. Analysis was done in details to discuss the loopholes that need to be addressed prior to the next monsoon,” a senior KMC official told HT.

Like Eastern Metropolitan Bypass had been one of the most waterlogged stretches of the city. Experts and technocrats blamed it on high tide and no excavation of connecting river canals.

The irrigation department had been asked to carry out massive excavation of all city canals for better rainwater management. Joka too has a 16 km stretch canal that needs complete renovation, which is planned at a cost of Rs1.5 crore.

“About 50% of the work for Joka is targeted for completion by March next year and the next 50% prior to monsoon,” a senior official present at the meeting said.

According to KMC engineers, due to height problem, rainwater removal from Santoshpur Rail Bridge has become a very difficult task.

Civic bosses had already written to the railway authorities for reconstruction of the bridge to which railway officials had agreed but had asked for the entire cost of construction, which is estimated at Rs4 crore.


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