KOLKATA, 12 JUNE: The Trinamul Congress-led Bidhannagar Municipality, even after a year of its formation, has failed to smoothen the potholed roads of the VIP township of Salt Lake as the bitumen plant that could have solved the problem is yet to take shape.
The roads across the stretch where East West Metro construction is taking place have become a nightmare for the residents of the township. In the past few months, several accidents took place on these roads due to its bad condition. The most recent of the accidents was when a minibus, carrying 35 passengers, turned turtle near Indira Bhawan.
In last year’s budget placed on 29 June, 2010, by the newly-formed board, it was decided that a bitumen plant would be set up for repair and maintenance of the township roads. Rs 1 crore was also sanctioned as an advance for setting up the hot mix plant. Since it was difficult to get land for setting up the plant in the residential township, the municipality had asked the state government for land in Mahisbatan, an added-area of Salt Lake.
The municipality chairperson, Ms Anita Mandal, had said after placing the elaborate budget of around 53 crores last year that the main objective of the outlay was to develop the civic infrastructure and the municipality would give stress on five pilot projects. One of these was the setting up a hot mix plant for which budgetary allocations had been made.
According to Mr Anupam Dutta, CIC for roads, getting land from the Left Front government was tough but now when Trinamul has come to power, they are hopeful that they will soon get a plot in Mahisbatan. He said that Mr Firhad Hakim, minister for urban development, would visit the municipality next week that the matter would be taken up in the meeting.
Recently, during a visit to the municipality, Mr Sovan Chatterjee, mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, said that Bidhannagar Municipality would buy the ‘ready mix’ from the KMC. Mr Dutta said that this move would lead to saving of 20-30 per cent of the amount spent on repairing roads as they will not have to hire contractors and since the municipality already has most of the machines like mixer, road cutter and static roller. This would also help stop pollution cause by burning of pitch and tyres, Mr Dutta added. However, the township dwellers would have to put up with the ravaged roads for now as, according to Mr Dutta, it would take another months or two for the civic body to develop its infrastructure and start the process of buying bitumen from KMC.