Flood Management

Kolkata Metropolis Drainage

Drainage Problems In and Around Kolkata Metropolis and their Disposal

The Metropolis of Kolkata is already more than 300 years old. "Chance erected, chance directed", as described by Rudyard Kipling, the city of Kolkata had been facing its acute drainage problems since its very birth burgeoning over three marshy and obscure hamlets since 1690. Kolkata lies on the left bank of river Hooghly about 130 kms. upstream of its confluence with the Bay of Bengal. The bank of the river has developed as a natural levee and the general slope of the land is eastwards from the river bank. Initially, the drainage of this city had been effected against the general slope i.e. westwards through the now defunct creek which ran from Salt Lake (now reclaimed) in the east to Hooghly river at Princep Ghat on the west. Later on, excavation of Maratha Ditch (present Circular Road), which circumscribed the city in 1742 rang the death knell of the creek. River Bidyadhari has since then served as an outlet for the drainage of the city for a long period from 1856 to 1928.

The earliest drainage cum navigation was taken up by Major Tolly who submitted a proposal to use the bed of the almost dead channel of Adi Ganga as a private venture, excavated the channel named after him as Tolly Nullah which was opened in 1777. The total stretch of 17 miles (27.2 kms) used to outfall into Bidyadhari at Samukpota or Tardaport. Excavation of Circular Canal from Entally to Hooghly river was done in 1820 while construction of Chitpur Lock was completed in 1833. Subsequently, canalisation of Bhangor Khal was taken up in 1897-98 and excavation of Keshtapur Khal in 1910, a navigation channel, connecting Kolkata with Nona-Gong-KultiGung .

With the deterioration of Yamuna, the Bidyadhari lost much of its upland flood water supply and could not survive and was finally abandoned by the Govt. in 1928. Finally, Dr. B N De, an eminent Engineer of Calcutta Corporation came up with his new famous "Kulti Outfall Scheme". Apart from augmenting the capacity of drainage channels, installation of extra pumps and sedimentation tanks, an important step had been taken to take the drainage by long-lead channels towards east and south-east to the Kultigong outfall which is connected with the live Raimangal estuary. The outfall scheme consists of execution of two parallel channels from Bantala to Kulti (17 miles / 27 kms) to carry storm water and dry weather flow of the city separately.

The city of Kolkata and its adjoining metropolitan areas are thus drained by a network of drainage channels excavated, handed over and maintained over years by the Irrigation & Waterways Department. Around 1970, a number of new channels were excavated in the areas adjoining the main city where people started to live after the partition of Bengal by the fund available from the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA). Subsequently, in absence of adequate maintenance fund, increasing encroachments on the canal banks and their slopes, extension of human settlement in the low lying areas in fringe areas of the city, aggravated the drainage congestion not only in the city core area but the Greater Metropolitan District also. Apart from the drainage channels a number of pumping houses located at Uttarbhag, Chowbhaga, Keorapukur in South 24-Parganas district are rendering great service towards removal of drainage congestion in their respective areas. Particulars of pumps and their capacities under Irrigation & Waterways Directorate are as below :


Sl. No. Name of Pumping Station No. of Pumps Capacity each in (cusecs) Motor Capacity (HP)
1 Uttarbhag 4 250 630
2 Additional Uttarbhag 5 50 170
3 Chowbhaga 9 50 100
4 Additional Chowbhaga 10 50 135
5 2nd Additional Chowbhaga 10 50 120
6 Keorapukur 4 50 100

Pumping Stations

Location of different Pumping Stations for Kolkata Drainage System along with Installed Capacity in Cusec / Litre per Sec.


No. Pumping Station Under I & W Department Installed Capacity in Cusec
22 Keorapukur Pumping Station 200
17 Chowbhaga Old Pumping Station 450
18 Additional Chowbhaga Pumping Station 500
19 2nd Add. Chowbhaga Pumping Station 500
26 Uttarbhag 1000
27 Additional Uttarbhag 250
No. Main Pumping Station of C.M.C. Installed Capacity in Cusec
16 Ballygunge DRG Pumping Station 1233
11 Palmar Bazar Pumping Station 1184
09 Dhapa Lock Pumping Station 480
No. Intermediate & Small Pumping Stations of C.M.C Installed Capacity in Cusec
15 Topsia Pumping Station 65
20 Jodhpur Park Pumping Station 20.64
21 Chetla Lock Pumping Station 24
24 Mominpur Pumping Station 142
23 Nimak Mahal Pumping Station 12
14 Kulia Tangra Pumping Station 40
12 Pagladanga Pumping Station 48
07 Maniktala Syphon Pumping Station 24
06 Ultadanga New Pumping Station 440
05 Ultadanga Old Pumping Station 28
04 Belgachia Pumping Station 8.01
01 Birpara Pumping Station 50
08 Manicktala Pumping Station 97
No. Pumping Station Under P.H.E Installed Capacity in Cusec
03 Duttabagan Pumping Station 48
02 Laketown Pumping Station 23.77
10 Kashipur Dum Dum Drainage Pumping Station 156
No. Pumping Station Under C.M.W.S.A Installed Capacity in Cusec
13 Chingrighata Pumping Station 100
No. Pumping Station Under C.M.D.A Installed Capacity in Cusec
25 Baranagar Noapara Pumping Station 300