After successful captive breeding of Bengal tiger, a lion named Akbar and lioness Sita arrived in Bengal Safari Park in Siliguri today for this purpose.
Incomplete project work for three sewerage treatment plants (STP) under the Mahananda Action Plan in Siliguri is all set to resume. Meanwhile, an expert member of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Justice Saibal Dasgupta, visited Siliguri today.
It is learnt that the State Urban Development Agency (SUDA) has sanctioned Rs 63 crore for the completion of the pending projects. Work on the STP projects (STP-I near Fulbari, and STPII and III at Naukaghat) on the banks of the Mahananda river began during the tenure of the erstwhile Left Front government in the state in 2008.
While implementing the STPs, allegations of misappropriation of funds were levelled at the government in 2013 when the then Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) board was at the helm, resulting in the projects getting stalled.
Sources said the NGT has issued several orders, expressing concern over pollution in the Mahananda river. According to the joint secretary of the state urban development and municipal affairs (UD&MA) department, Nandini Ghosh, Justice Saibal Dasgupta made a two-day visit to the town to take stock of the management of solid waste and liquid waste and how to make the process better.
Justice Dasgupta addressed a meeting in the presence of SUDA director Supriya Ghosal, Ms Ghosh, and other officials of the UD&MA department, West Bengal Pollution Control Board, Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, chairperson of the board of administrators of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) Gautam Deb, and SJDA chairman Sourav Chakraborty.
Justice Dasgupta reviewed the situation and examined the infrastructure meant to control pollution. “Three STPs will be set up that will work to drain out liquid waste. The pump house and other civil strictures are readied for STP-II and III. The state government has sanctioned Rs 63 crore and the pump house will be rejuvenated. The 40-million-litre-per day liquid waste, which would mix with the Mahanada river directly, will be filtered to
curb the pollution of the river,” she said.
After the meeting, Justice Dasgupta visited the Surya Sen Park, where he planted saplings, the dumping yard and the STP site at Naukaghat. “He has given some instructions over checking the pollution. We will act accordingly,” said an official of the UD& MA department.
According to Mr Chakraborty, once completed, the STPs will strengthen the drainage system of liquid waste. He said the detailed project reports had been prepared. SMC officials said 350 metric tons of solid waste is crushed daily, of which around 88 tons were biodegradable. The SJDA has laid steel
nets around 12 major outlets of the river.