July 11, 2014
Howrah all set to become a mega city
Howrah is all set to become a mega city,the Urban Development Minister said in the State Assembly.
“From now on, Howrah`s growth will be in aplanned manner and the city will have urban facilities like Kolkata,” Mr FirhadHakim, the state Urban Development Minister said in the Assembly while replyingto a discussion prior to the passing of the Howrah Municipal Corporation(Amendment) Bill. “We`ll convert Howrah into a mega city,” he promised.
Howrahreceived a major boost, when Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee shifted thestate secretariat to the 15-storey Nabanna overlooking the Hooghly. “For the past30 years, Howrah has grown in an unplanned manner, resulting in water supply,road and conservation problems. Water logging is another huge problem becauseof a faulty drainage system. But this will change as we are preparing ablueprint for the city`s development,” he said.
“Thedevelopment programmes are being elaborately planned. Initially, problems ofdifferent areas of the city will be addressed. Water supply, drainage andsanitation, roads, street lights and other facilities will be brought on a parwith Calcutta,” Mr. Hakim said.
Accordingto Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Howrah`s population was about 3.2 millionafter the 2011 census and a city must have over 10 million residents, amongother things, to become a mega city. As a first step towards earning thatstatus, the Bally municipality area will be merged with the Howrah MunicipalCorporation to attract more funds.
Newbuildings and civil construction work would be sanctioned keeping in mindenvironmental parameters, the Minister said. “Slum and traffic management willbe prime concerns,” he added.
Thecity`s two water treatment plants at Puddapukur were built to generate 70million gallon a day.
The Assembly passed a resolution to include some parts ofMaheshtala municipality, South 24-Parganas, in the KMC area. “Severalgeographical and logistical problems that stood in the way of the amalgamation.But these have been taken care of,” Mr. Hakim said.