April 30, 2015
Water supply top priority: Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee
Sovan Chatterjee, who is set to take oath as mayor for the second time, came to office early on Wednesday and held a series of meetings with KMDA and KMC officials on the future course of action.
Excerpts of his plans regarding KMC’s work in the next five years:
Q. What are your plans for the next five years?
Mayor: This time I will concentrate on sustainable development of the city. I will try to do an all round development of the city.
Q: Tell us some areas where you want to bring about a marked change?
Mayor: Supply of drinking water is an area where we need to improve upon in a big way. We have undertaken a major augmentation project to make potable water reach every household. Right now we have decided to inaugurate a 50 million gallon water treatment plant at Garden Reach, which is nearing completion. Out of this treatment plant, we aim to supply 10-12 million gallons of water to areas of three municipalities Budge Budge, Pujali and Maheshtala.
We will then take up construction of another treatment plant at Garden Reach. Besides, the capacity of Palta waterworks and Dhapa water treatment plant will also undergo an augmentation programme. The aim is to discourage installation of tube wells as a source of drinking water.
Q: Besides water supply what will be the other focus areas?
Mayor: There are many. We have successfully installed 43 garbage compactor stations across the city to phase out vats, which would make the city dirty.
Now we intend to extend the service to places where large vats still exist. We are in the process of finding land for setting up such compactor stations. In the next five years, we will take the number from 43 to 100.
This apart, we have planned to install 1,000 trash bins of different sizes to take care of waste from the different markets.
Q: What about your plans for the beautification of the riverfront?
Mayor: We have decided to continue with the riverfront beautification. The successful implementation of the beautification project along the Hooghly till Jagganath Ghat will be extended up to Mayer Ghat and then further. We have appealed to the Centre to release funds for this.
Q. What will be the policy as far as determining property tax is concerned. Will you continue with the old method or introduce unit area assessment?
Mayor: We want to simplify the method of calculating property tax. While the present system of rental basis of calculating property tax will not be discarded, those who want to determine the tax based on unit area method will also be welcome. We want to keep the two systems alive.
Q: How will you undertake administrative reforms?
Mayor: We are duty bound to give a transparent civic administration to the citizens. It is our responsibility to ensure that nobody gets harassed while they seek services at our office counters.
Q: What will be your policy on hawkers?
Mayor: We have adopted a hawker policy in which we have stressed on pedestrians’ rights and ensured the livelihood of the hawkers.