Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the filtered water project in New Town, Rajarhat on January 28.
After coming to power, Banerjee had set up a group of ministers (GOM) and urged officials to come up with plans to provide filtered water to the residents of Rajarhat. She also assured that the scheme should be given topmost priority and the project should be completed within four years.
It may be recalled that the erstwhile Left Front government did not make any scheme to provide drinking water to Rajarhat. Instead, they had installed 54 deep tubewells to provide drinking water. As Rajarhat is close to Barasat where Arsenic contamination was reported from some tubewells, the environmentalists had urged the then Housing Minister Gautam Deb to prepare a scheme. However, Deb never listened to their request.
The engineers of Public Health Engineering Department and Housing and Infrastructure Development Department (Hidco) made a unique plan to provide drinking water to the residents of Rajarhat. It was decided that unfiltered water from the Hooghly river would be lifted at Debendrabala ghat, where a lifting station has been constructed. Then the raw water was taken to water purification centre, which is around 19 km away. The estimated cost of the project was Rs 350 crore which was funded by Hidco.
Now, 12 million gallon of filtered water will be supplied to Rajarhat. Later, the supply network will be augmented and vast areas under Bidhanagar Municipal Corporation, Nabadiganta and South Dum Municpality would be brought under the scheme.
Chairman of Hidco Debashis Sen said the water treatment plan was on trial run and the engineers had expressed satisfaction over the water quality. “It is a dream project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and this has been completed on time.”
New Town is becoming a hub for finance, education, tourism, culture and health care and the supply of piped water would be an important addition to the infrastructure.