Hatgachia slum, located off EM Bypass near ITC Sonar, Silver Spring and Milan Mela, is all set to get a facelift. It is one of the largest slums in Kolkata, which spreads over 40,000 square metre area and houses 11,500 people.
Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) authorities have initiated steps to develop this slum that dots the adjacent posh locality.
“A detailed project report on developing Hatgachia as the first ‘model’ slum with an estimated cost of 3.75 crore has been submitted to urban development and municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim for his approval and funding,” Swapan Samaddar, member, mayor-incouncil (bustee development) told HT.
If the plan gets a go-ahead, the slum would have proper drinking water facilities, sewerage and drainage system, roads, toilets and housing for all.
DPR for transfor ming Hatgachia as a model slum proposes improvement of sewerage system of 22.54 km, construction of new bituminus road (main road) of 3.5 km, construction of decorative kerb channel of 33 km, laying of paver block on the pavements of 32.57 sq.km, construction of concrete pathway of 6.7 sq.km, construction of a two-storied community hall of 1,200 sq.ft per floor, construction of 100 units of sanitary latrines, repairing and upgrade of a KMC primary school building, construction of pedestrian railings along the pavements of 3.3 km, healthcare centre, etc.
According to engineers, the DPR also includes development of a park, lighting condition and power supply.
“During monsoon, Hatgachia slum goes under water as the adjacent posh neighbourhood pumps out water towards the slum area, which is low land. We have decided to develop the land so that the problem of waterlogging could be tackled,” a senior KMC engineer said.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has also made plans to replace the existing 4,000 pits or well latrines (according to a recent survey conducted by the bustee department) in the slum areas with sanitary latrines. The project, which is slated to cost around Rs 30 crore, needs approval by the government for which a detailed project report has already been sent. Each sanitary latrine has been proposed to cost around Rs 73,000. The use of sanitary latrines will check the spread of waterborne diseases and will make the living conditions better for those dwelling in slums.
Many in the civic headquarters are considering this initiative as the first step towards transforming Kolkata into a ‘slum free’ city, as mayor Sovan Chatterjee had promised.