In a first, excavated soil from Muri Ganga to be up for e-sale

Sagar Island: For the first time, the state government is going for online sale of the soil that has been excavated out of river Muri Ganga during the dredging work ahead of the Gangasagar Mela.

The move would lead to dual benefit as it would generate revenue for the state's exchequer and at the same time the soil would not once again get settled on the river bed after getting washed out from the bank of the waterbody dividing Sagar Island with the mainland.

It needs a mention that the state government has already moved into the online regime for sand trade. Now quite similar mechanism has been adopted for sale of soil excavated during dredging or desiltation of river.

According to the top brass of the state administration, around 5.2 lakh cubic metre soil has been excavated during the dredging work in river Muriganga this time. The work would be completed by December 31. The dredging work will ensure plying of vessels for at least 20 to 22 hours each day to transit pilgrims. Four dredgers would also be kept standby this time during the Gangasagar Mela from January 8 to 16.

The dredging work involved an investment of around Rs 14 crore.

The excavated soil has been dumped along the river. Usually, a quantity of soil used to get lifted earlier while a major part of it used to get washed away to again get settled on the river bed. As a result the desiltation work used to bear no proper result. In a bid to bring an end to the menace, the South 24-Parganas district administration has taken up the task to go for online sale of the same.

The soil has now been left untouched till its "water content" gets evaporated. One its turn dry it would be fit for sale.

The online based mechanism is also being developed using which online tender and e-challan will get utilised after online payment for procurement of the soil. Being the first time such an initiative has been taken up, the concerned authorities are cautions of taking care of all its aspects properly. It may take another week time to complete the necessary preparations for the same.The responsibility has been given to the local BLRO to undertake the entire project. If everything goes as planned then it would be sold at Rs 97 per 100 CFT.

Sources said already it has been decided to use around 50,000 CFT for raise the level of Kakdwip Mela Ground and a round of discussion has also been held with some traded who have shown interest to procure around 1 lakh cubic metre of soil. "The soil is very fertile and can be utilised to raise the level of agricultural land as well," the officer said.

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