With the meterological department expecting the monsoon to hit the city within a week, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is working on a war footing to prevent water-logging and mosquito-borne diseases during the rainy season.
Having spent almost Rs 30 crore, the KMC is confident that the advanced and upgraded machinery along with extensive de-silting of the sewerage system in pockets known for water logging will help in addressing the problem.
Mayor-in-Council member for sewerage and drainage Tarak Singh told IANS: “Along with setting up new pumping stations, we have bought new semi-automatic manhole de-silting machines, gully pit emptier machines, suction machines and bucket machines. Old pump motors have also been replaced.”
Expressing his faith in the effectiveness of these new equipment, Singh said: “These machines will be more efficient than manual labour”.
“We started de-silting the underground drains since the last monsoon and till now almost 1,500 trucks of mud have been extracted,” Singh added.
He said despite scattered rainfall, the city has not seen any water logging so far in pockets like College Street in North Kolkata and Ekbalpur in the southern part of the metropolis where intense de-silting was carried out.
“In case of rainfall of up to 20 mm per hour, the water level will subside within half an hour,” Singh said.
He said a fine of Rs 500 will be imposed on those who choke drains by throwing plastic bags.
On the other hand, the KMC health department has deployed 16 rapid action teams, one for each borough, to face the challenges of mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue.
The two vector-borne diseases are a recurrent problem in the city during the rainy season.
“Every week in each area our field workers conduct door-to-door survey and destroy mosquito larvae. Between June 15 and September 15, we will make people aware about dengue and malaria,” Mayor-in-Council (health) Atin Ghosh told IANS.
Identifying September as the “peak season” of mosquito-borne diseases, Ghosh said around 100 awareness camps will be organised around the city.
The heath care units in every ward are now providing free tests and medicines for malaria and dengue.