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.