Continuing with the series of questions concerning our constituency, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista had raised the issue of pollution in the Siliguri stretch of river Mahananda and had requested for urgent river rejuvenation program on the lines of Namami Gange program.
He had also asked if the Government had taken any steps to address the acute water shortage problems in Darjeeling, Siliguri, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Mirik, Matigara and Phansidewa.
Responding to the queries, Hon’ble Minister for Jal Shakti Shri. Rattan Lal Kataria stated, that Mahananda was polluted from Siliguri to Binaguri, and that the Central Pollution Control Board had approved a project prepared by the WB Govt to rejuvenate the river, and that the Govt of WB is expected to complete the project in two years time, starting April 2019.
Addressing the water crisis issue, the Minister informed that Govt of India had included Darjeeling and Siliguri under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and urban Transformation (AMRUT) on 25th June, 2015. He further informed the house that under the Central Assisted AMRUT scheme the WB Govt has initiated a 204.84 crore water supply project in Darjeeling – for which the contract had been awarded.
Reacting to the questions, MP Bista said, “I am glad that two of my priority areas – providing clean and safe drinking water to every household in my constituency has begun through the initiation of AMRUT sponsored water project in Darjeeling town. I will make sure that during my tenure water crisis problem in every panchayat, block and town in the Hills and Plains are solved.”
He further said, “we will all need to come together to work on complimenting the government initiatives by volunteering to conserve water, recharge aquifers and natural springs. I am confident that our people will support the government in making Darjeeling Lok Sabha Constituency a water surplus region.”
He requested, “this 204.84 crore water project for Darjeeling Municipality, should be adequate to cover each and every household, as long as there is no cut money charged. It is the duty of our people to make sure that the Government agencies utilize the funds for what it has come, and all the money allocated for the project is accounted for.”
Earlier, he had inquired about the revamping and upgradation of Bagdogra airport to an International airport. Answering this question, the Minister of State (IC) in the Ministry of CIVIL AVIATION Shri Hardeep Singh Puri responded, that the Government has asked the West Bengal government to provide 104.65 acres, for the development of new Civil Enclave at Bagdogra.