Quick Win Projects in Siliguri
Given the strategic location of Siliguri in the region,
its connectivity to the north east and to Nepal and Bhutan, as described above, traffic movement and resultant vehicular congestion are critical issues that the City is grappling with. Integrated public transport system does not exist in the city of Siliguri or the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority region. There is a heavy reliance on intermediate public transport (IPT) (minidors and auto rickshaws) and private modes of travel which has led to saturation of on-road traffic, especially in the cities of Siliguri and Jalpaiguri, and consequently congestion, increased fuel consumption, time and economic loss.
Consequently, air pollution is a significant health concern for people of the City. The City, however, lacks the monitoring infrastructure, with only one, intermittently functioning continuous ambient air quality monitoring station, location in the outskirts.
Therefore, given the need for better transport and traffic planning in the City and its potential impacts on improving air quality in the City, the CapaCITIES project is installing four sensor based ambient air quality monitoring stations in Siliguri at the following locations:
Acoustic Water Leak Detection
Currently, there is no mechanism in Siliguri for detecting leaks in the water distribution mains. A leak in the water distribution mains is identified by a puddle on the road’s surface, which is created by the leaked water after the soil in between the water distribution mains and the surface has been saturated. The process of plugging this leak involves, first digging vertically downward to the distribution pipeline. If the leak is found, it gets plugged. However, not always does the leak happen vertically below the puddle. Often, digging vertically downwards leads only to more accumulated water from the leak. In such a case, the authority identifies the leak by a trial and error method, ie, digging the ground on either side of the puddle in fixed lengths.
An acoustic water leak detection machine can reduce the excessive wastage of water from the leaks by pinpointing the leak even before a puddle is formed on the surface. Two acoustic leak detection machines have been provided to the Siliguri Municipal Corporation through the project. Training in the use of the same has been provided to engineers and officials of Siliguri Municipal Corporation. As a pilot study, these machines have been used to conduct a water audit in water zone 1 of the city.