Kolkata water supply to increase by 20 million gallons daily, as mayor inaugurates new plant


Kolkata is likely to get an additional 20 million gallons of filtered water per day, with the inauguration of a new treatment plant in North 24 Parganas district

Filtered water supply to Kolkata will go up by 20 million gallons per day (MGD), as mayor Firhad Hakim inaugurated a new treatment plant at Palta in North 24 Parganas district, on March 12, 2020. Built at a cost of Rs 46.9 crores, the new water treatment plant will raise Palta Water Works’ capacity to 262 MGD. The new treatment plant will benefit people of the north and central Kolkata, according to Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials.

Inaugurating the facility, Hakim asserted the need to save the Hooghly river, which is the main source of water for the metropolis. “At present, the cost of filtering water is Rs 8 per gallon,” he said, adding that the state government had decided not to levy any water tax in Kolkata.

 


Water crisis: West Bengal CM urges civil societies to undertake conservation campaigns

Voicing concern over the water crisis in various parts of the country, the West Bengal chief minister has asked urged civil societies and institutions to undertake water conservation campaigns

August 2, 2019: Expressing concern over the water crisis in Chennai and some other parts of the country, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, on August 1, 2019, urged civil societies and educational institutions in the state, to create campaigns for the conservation of water. Banerjee was speaking in Kolkata, after a programme on the theme ‘Save Green, Stay Clean’. The chief minister said all stakeholders should work towards the ‘dream of a green and clean Bengal’. Banerjee also voiced concern over the scanty rainfall in south Bengal in July 2019.

See also: Lok Sabha passes Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill

She also asked the Durga Puja committees to take part in tree plantation drives. “Ten crore trees can be planted, if every citizen of the state plants one tree each,” she said. The CM said tree saplings have been planted on 80.98% land in the state, in the past eight years, marking a ‘significant increase’ in the number of saplings since 2011.

 


Kolkata could face water crisis, owing to illegal filling up of water bodies: HC

The Calcutta High Court, while warning of water scarcity, has come down on the state government, for its failure to check filling up of water bodies and construction of buildings on it

July 16, 2019: Observing that water bodies were being filled up illegally in Kolkata and its adjoining areas, for the construction of buildings and other establishments, the Calcutta High Court, on July 15, 2019, said that if such activities continued, these regions would soon face water scarcity. It is unfortunate that water bodies are being filled up randomly, with the government doing nothing about it, justice Samapti Chattopadhyay said. Everybody seems to know what is happening around, except the government, she stated, while hearing a petition by Bidhannagar mayor Sabyasachi Dutta.

See also: Per capita water availability declines from 1,816 cubic metres to 1,544 cubic metres

Dutta had filed a plea in the court, challenging a notice sent to him by some Trinamool Congress councillors, for his removal from the post. His lawyer Bikash Bhattacharya submitted before the judge that the mayor was being ‘victimised’, for demolishing several unauthorised construction and initiating action against illegal filling up of water bodies. Hearing this, the court said it was aware of illegal construction and water bodies being filled up in Kolkata and adjoining Bidhannagar (Salt Lake and New Town). “Everything is going on under the nose of the government; we are seeing water bodies being filled, everybody knows but the government does not know, am I to believe it?” justice Chattopadhyay observed.

Referring to filling up of ditches along the VIP Road, which connects the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport with the city, she asked ‘whose interest is it serving’? Justice Chattopadhyay said it is unfortunate that hapless taxpayers are the ones who suffer. Given the way water bodies are being filled up, very soon, there will be water scarcity in the city, like in Mumbai and Delhi, she observed. “I do not understand why they are taking this wrong path. Don’t they have any knowledge about global warming and its effects?” the judge asked.

 


Water crisis: West Bengal CM urges people to stop wastage, as groundwater dips in some blocks

Referring to the severe water crisis in Chennai, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the state too was affected and stressed on the need to stop wastage of water

July 1, 2019: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, on June 28, 2019, said the groundwater level had gone down in some blocks of West Bengal and it was happening because of global warming. “Chennaiis facing a major water crisis and people are not getting water there. We have conducted a survey and found that groundwater level has gone down in some blocks in West Bengal,” she said at the state assembly.

See also: Do not prevent protests over water crisis: Madras HC to TN government

The Trinamool Congress chief laid emphasis on projects like ‘Jal Dharo-Jal Bharo’ and check dams, to increase the groundwater level. The Jal Dharo-Jal Bharo project was launched in 2011-12, to preserve water resources by large-scale harvesting of rainwater, as well as arresting runoff of surface water. “I believe that this is another big problem of the society. Each people’s representative, should spend at least one minute to speak on this issue during their speeches and appeal to the people to save the environment,” she added.

The chief minister said people misuse several things like water and electricity and they have to stop that practice. “While passing through the streets, I have seen how water is wasted. People are not bothered to turn the tap off. I think we all should take the initiative, in putting a stop to such a wastage. Save energy, save earth, save environment, save water because water is life,” Banerjee said. She urged farmers to choose cultivating crops or vegetables that require less water, in areas where the groundwater level had gone down.

 

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