Subrata cracked the whip on property tax defaulters; resolved waterlogging

Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation shall remain indebted to Subrata Mukherjee who, as the Mayor, had taken measures to collect property tax dues and address the issue of waterlogging.

It was Subrata Mukherjee who rendered a masterstroke and took over the control of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in 2000 by defeating the CPI(M). For the next five years, he took up steps that put the KMC on a rock-solid foundation.

On getting consent from the state government, KMC introduced the property tax waiver scheme for the first time in 2000. The scheme waived off the penalty and interest accrued on property tax dues. The KMC got more than Rs 300 crore. It was for the first time when such a scheme was introduced in Bengal.

Mukherjee took up schemes to upgrade and desilt the underground sewer lines to reduce the duration of waterlogging in Kolkata. Vast areas surrounding Rabindra Sadan, Akashvani Bhavan, Thanthania Kalibari and its neighbourhood used to remain flooded during the monsoon months and the accumulated water took two to three days to recede. Because of his schemes, the volume of accumulated water in these areas went down and started to recede faster.

Mukherjee's biggest achievement was the supply of filtered water to vast areas surrounding New Town. After coming to power in 2011, Mamata Banerjee had requested him to find ways and means to supply filtered water in New Town.

The Left Front government had tried out several schemes which finally had to be given up. Deep tubewells had been sunk to lift underground water that was supplied to houses. As New Town is close to the arsenic belt, environmentalists became apprehensive and urged the government to drop the scheme.

Under Mukherjee's leadership, unfiltered water began to be lifted from Debendra Bala Ghat in North Kolkata and taken to the filtration bed in New Town through underground pipelines covering a distance of around 15 kilometres. This was unique as elsewhere the lifting stations are situated next to the filtration beds as in Palta and Garden Reach.

Mukherjee held meetings with the engineers and took the risk. Now, 20 million gallons of water is purified and supplied in New Town and its neighbourhood daily. "Because of him we could work freely and finally, the scheme could be implemented," said a senior engineer of the Public Health Engineering department of which Mukherjee was the minister along with the Panchayats and Rural Development department.

Next Story
Share it