English Bazaar residents may get arsenic free water supply by civic body within August

Report by: 
SOUMYA DE SARKAR
MALDA
14 Feb 2017

English Bazaar municipality (EBM) would supply arsenic free hygienic drinking water for more than lakh residents in six municipal wards by August this year. Informing this Dulal (Babla) Sarkar, vice chairman of the civic body said, residents of other 23 EBM wards are also expected to get the supply of arsenic free water by the end of the year.
Supply of arsenic water in municipal areas has been one of the key issues in civic body elections for past 10 years. Although all political parties promised to ensure the supply, the matter remained only in pen and papers. Some early measures were claimed to be taken too but municipal areas have been deprived of supply of arsenic free water.
Sarkar, who has been the vice chairman of EBM for last 10 years, however, blamed former EBM chairman Krishnendu Choudhury who ran the civic body for six years at a stretch. “Former chairman kept changing plans and thus the project was getting delayed. The project cost of Rs 41 crore has also been tripled by this time,” Sarkar alleged.
He said, “After Nihar Ghosh took over as the EBM chief, Subrata Mukherjee, minister of public health engineering (PHE) assured us that his department would shoulder the responsibility of supplying arsenic free drinking water to EBM wards 3, 23, 24, 26, 28 and 29. The infrastructure is being ready. We hope that the supply of arsenic free water would start from August, this year.”
“Another project of arsenic free drinking water to the other wards is in the pipeline. We are trying get it done by October. Our primary objective is to supply arsenic free drinking water to all residents of EBM,” Sarkar said.
Choudhury, the former EBM chairman, however denied that there was lack of initiative on his part in implementing arsenic free water supply project. “I took up the issue first. A land was arranged at Kotowali area to purify water to be lifted from Mahananda river. It is a big project and so could not be materialized overnight,” he said.