tarun goswami
KOLKATA, 31 MAY: A 4.8-km stretch between Chetla and Kasba on  Rashbehari Avenue might sink without a trace, and this is no fiction.
City-based engineers said as there are no liners on the underground sewer line a long stretch on Rashbehari Avenue to Gariahat intersection might collapse any day causing a major catastrophe. It would be next to impossible to face the disaster.
Insiders said the same lobbyists had forced the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to float fresh tender to desilt and install liners on the sewer line on Rashbehari Avenue after APS Michigan’s contract was terminated in 2010 after the quality of work of the firm was found to be unsatisfactory. A fresh tender was issued, and it took nearly two years to complete the whole process. When the new firm was engaged, the KMC had to pay an additional Rs 32 crore as the new firm had to desilt the
underground sewer line afresh and also there was price escalation.
The KMC engaged Anger Lehner to desilt and install liners on the underground sewer line on Rashbehari Avenue. The Austrian-based company became insolvent and the administrator appointed by the Austrian court informed the KMC that Internationale Anger Lehner would step into the shoes of  the previous firm that is Anger Lehner and would use its equipment, manpower and work at the earlier rate.
The lobbyists, it was learnt, are using a term of the contract which states that KMC might terminate the contract of a firm that has become insolvent. Insiders said the lobbyists are putting pressure on the Municipal Affairs department to terminate the contract of the existing company and float a fresh tender. Now, as the administrator appointed by the Austrian court had already informed the KMC that the new firm will step into the shoe of the previous firm and as they are carrying on with the work, it would be meaningless to float fresh tender. The desilting of the underground sewer line and installation of liners on Rashbehari Avenue was likely to be completed by September.
The underground sewer line on Beaden Street, Hazra Road, Canning Street and Rashbehari Avenue had been cleaned and strengthened. The cleaning and installation of liners on Beadon Street and Canning Street have been completed and work on Hazra Road is nearing completion.