January 25, 2014
Major administrative rejig on the cards for even better governance
The state government has planned a major administrative step to merge the century-old Kolkata Improvement Trust (KIT) and the two-and-a-half-decade-old Kolkata Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Authority (KMWSA) with the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA). The aim is to bring the three urban development agencies under one umbrella for better administrative functioning and coordination.
Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said discussions were on regarding the plan. “A bill has to be passed in the assembly first,” he said. The matter was recently discussed in an administrative meeting.
The state government has been merging several agencies for better administration. Last year, the KMDA`s land acquisition cell was merged with the marketing management section of the authority.
The Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA), which was formed in January 2006 to look after the IT hub of Sector V, will also be merged soon with the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation that will be constituted in a few months by upgrading the Bidhannagar Municipality. Sector V will be included under the new corporation.
The government has come up with the plan to merge KIT and KMWSA with KMDA as often, there is a lack of proper coordination between the three agencies. Though both KIT and KMWSA were earlier brought under the KMDA board, the two agencies are still functioning as separate administrative agencies.
KIT was constituted during British Raj way back in 1911 under the Calcutta Improvement Act, 1911, with an aim to develop the city and its suburbs. Now, KIT looks after the maintenance of Rabindra Sarovar and Subhas Sarovar, several housing schemes and 11 markets, apart from having about 300 acres of land property.
KMWSA was set up in 1966 as the premier government agency to develop and improve water supply and sanitation facilities in Kolkata Metropolitan Area. Similar to KIT, KMWSA also lost a big chunk of its workforce over the years. Several pumping stations that were earlier operated by KMWSA were handed over to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation for better maintenance and operation.