The state government has chalked out a comprehensive plan worth Rs 24 crore to give a huge relief to water-stressed people, especially the poor in Darjeeling.
The state government is all set to implement the rainwater harvesting project for slum dwellers in the hill town. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 24 crore, Arnab Roy, principal secretary, state Environment department said on Tuesday. He was addressing a conference on sustainable waste management organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) this afternoon.
He said for nine months a year, slums in Darjeeling that are not connected to normal water supply, will get drinking and washing water. The funding is being provided by Global Climate Facility Funding. This is for the first time that a rainwater harvesting project at such a large scale is being implemented in the state. The Municipal Engineering Directorate is executing the project, the tendering for which has already begun. He said with land becoming increasingly scarce, Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) are required to lay a greater focus on recycling, reduction and segregation of wastes is a must.
"In a bid to fill the gap, the state government is trying to make sure that minimal wastes go to landfill sites. Time has come for us all to reduce wastes by recycling. It is a responsibility for all – government, industry, civil society and citizens. It is also important that we do not leave everything to the local body. It is in essence a collective responsibility," Roy maintained.
Besides industry members, researchers and representatives from as many as 30 municipalities from across the state were present at the meeting.
It may be mentioned that both the state Urban development department and Environment department have urged the Urban Local Bodies to recycle waste water and practice rainwater harvesting to tide over water scarcity. It may be mentioned that New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has started recycling waste water to water roadside plants in New Town.
A K Raybarman, Chief General Manager, NABARD, explained why and how converting wastes into variety of organic manures will lead to a healthy and sustainable environment.