Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday inaugurated Jalsathi project which has enhanced the capacity of Garden Reach Water Works that can now supply 185 million gallons of filtered water daily.
After coming tom power in 2011, Banerjee had assured to provide more water to the people. Over the years the requirement of drinking water has gone up in the city.
In 1985, when the Kolkata Municipal Corporation with the mayor-in- council system was introduced, civic authorities used to supply anything between 180 and 240 million gallons of filtered water per day. The capacity of Garden Reach Water Works was 40 mgd but it used to supply 20 mgd. Vast areas of Jadavpur and Behala, which were called added areas and came under KMC in 1985, used to be fed by deep tubewells.
Because of rampant sinking of deep tubewell, the ground water level of the city went down and in vast areas of South Kolkata and southern fringes it was below 7metre.
When Subrata Mukherjee became the Mayor (2000-05), he constructed Kalighat booster station. In 2010, Sovan Chatterjee became the Mayor as he was the member of mayor-in-council in charge of water supply during Mukherjee’s mayorship and had the knowledge of city’s water supply system.
He began to augment the capacity of water supply stations. Garden Reach water supply station, which was under Kolkata Metropolitan Water and sanitation Authority (KMWSA), was brought under the KMC.
Chatterjee said the KMC was now moving towards 100 per cent drinking water coverage. The foundation stone of a 3mgd reservoir and booster power station was laid at Shakuntala Park (wards 127) in Behala. Also, the foundation stone of another filtration station at Garden Reach with 25 million gallon per day capacity was laid.
It may be recalled that the Palta water supply station was set up in 1861 and it is the oldest water supply system in the country. The Garden Reach Water Works was set up in the 1970s. In the past four years, many municipalities are now lifting unfiltered water from the Hooghly river and purifying it before being supplied to the people.