KOLKATA: Five years ago, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) had undertaken an ambitious Rs 500-crore sewerage upgrade project to save large parts of the city from waterlogging. Five years down the line, the civic authorities have, however, been able to implement its plans only in few pockets of Kolkata.
Recent spells of heavy showers have revealed that while stretches of APC Road, AJC Bose Road and Canning Street experienced less waterlogging, large parts of Ballygunge Circular Road, Sunny Park, Hazra Road, Syed Amir Ali Avenue went under knee-deep water. Similarly, large parts of Rashbehari Avenue and adjoining roads such as Sarat Bose Road and Lake View Road are getting heavily waterlogged due to non-completion of work on Rashbehari Avenue.
A senior KMC drainage department official conceded that the multi-crore project undertaken under the JNNURM had its effect in some areas while other thoroughfares had been badly hit due to a slow progress.
Ruchira Ray, a resident of Tollygunge, complained that Rashbehari Avenue gets waterlogged even after a light drizzle. "Even tram services were withdrawn from this road to facilitate desilting of the sewer lines. Work is going on for the last five years, god knows why," she fumed.
Rupa Bagchi, the opposition leader in the KMC, alleged that the project was getting delayed for want of supervision. "We want the Trinamool-run civic board to look after basic amenities. Beautification of the city comes later," Bagchi argued.
A civic official, however, said the project was nearing completion both at Rashbehari Avenue and Hazra Road. "We had to stop work since the civic authorities terminated a contractor engaged in the project. Work is on full swing after the re-tendering process got over," he said.