Piped water project hit over poll code violation charge
Balurghat: Work on the project to provide piped water connections to the households here, which started a few years ago, has been stopped after the Election Commission of India announced the poll dates on March 10.
Earlier, the Commission declared that no ongoing project would be stop because of the elections.
However, the restrictions were imposed on announcing new projects by the state or Centre. When the nomination process started in Balurghat the supporters of the BJP and the RSP said the work on the water project at the time of elections was a violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
They asked the district returning officer and District Magistrate Dr Deepap Priya P to halt the water project.
Following the objection by the Opposition parties, the District Magistrate directed the civic authorities to stop the project till the poll code was in effect.
In February, the authorities had started providing piped water connections in the homes here. The municipality decided that they would start providing connections from Chalkbhabani.
An individual has to submit an application with certain details and Rs 5,000 for general category and Rs 3,000 for BPL category has to be paid for the facility. According to a municipal source, around 1,480 applications were deposited covering approximately 20,440 households from all 25 wards.
Piped water connectivity has been a long-standing demand of the residents while entire water distribution system of the town has been revamped. Old pipes have been repaired and even re-laid where necessary.
According to a municipal source, 18.25 million litres of water is required in a day. Four giant reservoirs have been constructed to meet the daily needs. A modern water treatment plant was set up in Hosseinpur for sedimentation, filtering and chemical disinfection of impure water from Atreyee river.
Most of the civic residents are being forced to drink water with excessive iron content since many years.
As there is no major source of alternative water supply system in the region, Public Health Engineering department supplied drinking water for the residents but this was not enough to
meet the demand for the residents. "The Public Health Engineering department is at present involved in supplying drinking water covering about 220 households only," said a source.
"I have deposited money and documents for water connectivity but the work has been stopped by the civic authorities. We are forced to consume iron-contaminated water," said a local resident Swapan Das.
Administrator of Balurghat municipality Isha Mukherjee said the work would resume after the elections are over.