Story | Centre for Science and Environment

Story


Air pollution crusader

Subhas Dutta, Environmentalist

Tram crusader

Debasish Bhattacharya, Scientist

Kolkata

Kolkata Municipal Corporation has an area of 185 km2 and the Kolkata Metropolitan Area is spread over 1,750 km2 with 15 million people. Pollution levels in Kolkata are high and on the rise. The city will have to take steps to reduce motorisation, so that it can deal with congestion and air toxins. The city is constrained by the road space – it has less than 10 per cent of its land area under roads, against Delhi’s 21 per cent. Therefore, even though the city has fewer cars than Delhi the result is the same – growing congestion and pollution.

Creates Public awreness

Urban Environment Development Society

This network of civil society groups and volunteers is working towards building public awareness to build public pressure for policy action on clean air, mobility and other urban issues.

Action

Policy action

First generation action has taken roots. The city is far from meeting the clean air standards. Though an industrial city, vehicles have become a continuously increasing source of pollution. Clean fuel program and industry measures can be expected to provide some respite. Policy decisions and action so far in the city

Action on vehicles:

Kanpur

Kanpur is the largest city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is spread over an area of 260 sq km with a population of 25.51 lakh. The population is expected to increase to 48 lakhs by 2030 which amounts to adding a whole new Kanpur in 30 years. Even though it had originally grown as an industrial town, manufacturing is shrinking in this city. The city has strength in terms of heavy usage of cycling and walking but due to neglect the city is losing this advantage. Air pollution levels are one of the highest in the country.

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