There are reasons for the residents of New Town- Rajarhat to be happy, as filtered water to the area will be supplied latest by mid December.
Experimental supply of water has begun and the engineers of Public Health Engineering department (PHE) are happy with it as the pressure of water is quite high. A huge filtration bed has been constructed in Rajarhat to which unfiltered water from river Hooghly is being carried by underground pipeline. The unfiltered water will be lifted from Debendrabala ghat off Chitpore. Then it will be carried to the filtration bed located 20.3 km away. The water will be stored in the overhead tanks and then supplied to households.
Initially, 20 million gallons of water will be supplied per day. Later, measures will be taken to upgrade it to 100 million gallon per day. The estimated cost of the project is Rs.450 crore, which has been borne by the Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco).
Generally, in most water supply projects, the filtration bed is situated next to the lifting station.
The country&’s oldest filtration bed in Palta, built shortly after the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857 is located next to the lifting station. In Garden Reach, which was set up in the early 1970s, the same system was followed.
A senior engineer of PHE said as the filtration bed for the Rajarhat project is located at a distance of 20.3 km from the lifting station, there was every possibility of water pressure dropping. But this has not happened in Rajarhat.
He said that along with Rajarhat, vast areas under South Dum Dum municipality, Bidhannagar, Nabadiganta Industrial township and sector V will benefit.
Senior state government officials said that work is on to decide whether the filtered water will be supplied once a day or thrice a day like in Kolkata.
Also, it has not been decided whether water tax will be imposed, as chief minister Mamata Banerjee is against imposing water tax.
Subrata Mukherjee, public health engineering minister, said lakhs of people would benefit once the supply begins.
It may be recalled that the erstwhile Left Front government had planned the township without any water supply scheme. As the demand for water went up, the Left Front government had allowed installation of 57 deep tubewells, knowing fully well that Rajarhat was close to the arsenic belt in Barasat. After coming to power, Banerjee set up a committee and went ahead with the water supply project.
Initially, 20 million gallons of water will be supplied per day.