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Faulty drainage work crippled city this monsoon

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KOLKATA: Lack of coordination between the officials of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Kolkata Environment Improvement Project (KEIP) made the situation worse this monsoon.

A sewerage and drainage modernization scheme taken up under Kolkata Environment Improvement Project (KEIP) was reportedly done in a hurried manner without proper planning.

The matter came to light at a recent meeting in the civic headquarters. The civic body had signed an agreement with Asian Development Bank for the Rs 2500-crore project in 2000. The project was undertaken in 2004 and completed in 2010.

Mayor Sovan Chatterjee gave a piece of his mind to the KEIP and KMC officials for not coordinating with one another. The drainage modernization work, which was taken up to mitigate flooding in certain parts of the city, failed to yield the desired results.

The flaws were detected in laying drainage lines and building sewerage infrastructure. For instance, wrong method of laying drainage pipes in large parts of Behala without proper supervision by the KMC officials and failure to connect newly-built sewerage lines to the household drainage connections at Picnic Garden and Topsia made lives difficult for the residents this monsoon.

Residents of Metiabruz and Garden Reach were supposed to be covered under an improved drainage system. However, faulty laying of drainage network failed to prevent flooding in these areas, said a KMC official. “Huge amount of money and time have been wasted to implement the Phase I of the project. Sewerage or drainage network in large parts of the city was supposed to get a facelift. But, faulty work made the situation worse,” a KMC drainage department official said.

Chatterjee on Friday said that the incomplete drainage projects would be completed in the Phase II, works for which is slated to start from 2016. Chatterjee said that lack of coordination among the KEIP and KMC officials was responsible for the shoddy work. Chatterjee said that a task force comprising officials of both the KMC and KEIP would be formed to take care of the drainage upgrade work.

“Our priority will be to make a flawless drainage network. Under the new scheme, we will build a comprehensive sewerage and drainage network in the next five years. I have asked the KMC officials to get in regular touch with their KEIP counterparts so that the errors are not repeated,” Chatterjee said.

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Source: TOI-Kol


Two arrested with 6kg deer meat in Sunderbans

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KOLKATA: Two persons were arrested with almost 6kg deer meat in the Sunderbans on Friday. But unconfirmed reports said the quantity of meat was much more than what was claimed by officials.

According to sources, Santigachi, the place from were the meat was seized, was close to the very forests of Jhila, where back-to-back tiger deaths were reported a few months ago.

Acting on a tip-off, foresters raided the Santigachi area on Friday morning and caught the accused—identified as Swapan Mondal and Bablu Mondal from Rajat Jubilee—red-handed when they were reportedly trying to flee with the meat. “We are working jointly with the panchayat members to crack down on the entire network of poachers. More raids will be carried out in this connection in coming days,” said Nilanjan Mullick, field director of the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve. According to sources, after killing a deer, the poachers distribute the meat among themselves as divided consignments are easier to be smuggled out.

Earlier in 2013, three fishermen, who were residents of Kakdwip, were arrested from the Lothian Wildlife Sanctuary, They had confessed that they had laid traps to poach deer and wild boars. The same year, a villager was arrested from Amtali in Basirhat while he was feasting on deer meat.

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Source: TOI-Kol


After eight days on run, tiger captured in Sunderbans village

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JHARKHALI/KOLKATA: The tiger that was on the prowl in the Sunderbans’ Jharkhali area since the last eight days was finally captured on Saturday evening.

Confirming the news, A Sunderbans official said that the big cat, a female and aged around four years, was trapped in a cage laid in the Asorala area of Jharkhali. Till the last reports came, the foresters have started from the 3 No. Ghat area with the tiger towards the Jharkhali rescue centre.

The tiger from Pirkhali forest had first crossed the Vidya river to enter the Tridibnagar village. The area falls under the South 24-Parganas forest division. This is the first incident of tiger straying in the mangroves this year.

Interestingly, this was the first time when a technology like camera trap was used in case of a tiger straying. “We had laid four pairs of camera traps in the area. Quite a few images of the big cats were captured in the cameras. We used the images to make the villagers aware so that they don’t lose their temper. We showed them the images and told them that this is the big cat that you will have to save,” said Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve director Pradeep Vyas.

Ranger Nilratan Guha said that the tiger had changed its location at least five times in the last eight days. “It changed its location twice today and moved away almost seven kilometres from Vidyasagar Pally, where it hid yesterday, to the Asorala area where we laid the trap cage,” he said, adding that before entering the trap cage the tiger was hiding near a ‘bheri’. Sources said that the tiger has travelled more than 24 kilometres across several villages in the area in the last eight days.

A source said that the foresters had to change the location of the cages four times in these days. “Since the tigress is young, we couldn’t lure it with a live bait and placed goat meat inside the cage today. It worked,” said a source.

Vyas said that they would keep the tiger under watch for a few days before releasing it back to wild. “We will keep the big cat in the rescue centre at Jharkhali for a few days. We have squeeze cages there which will come handy for its treatment. We have to keep it in mind that the big cat is also under trauma. Once it overcomes the trauma, then we will release it in the wild, probably inside a core area,” he said, adding that if needed, they will get vets from the Alipore zoo to check on its health.

Earlier on Friday, the villagers of Vidyasagar Pally had spotted the big cat trying to clear a nylon fence back into the forest at around 4.20 am. Failing to jump over the barrier, it took refuge at the paddy field which is spread over 15 bighas. A nylon fence has been erected around the ground and forest guards are keeping a vigil.

Three trap cages were placed around the local paddy fields and floodlights were also put up to locate the tiger.

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Source: TOI-Kol

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