Public Dialogue: Combating air pollution in Kolkata

CSE organised a public dialogue (February 2009) in the city. Titled ‘Clearing the air: An agenda for action’, it brought together policy makers, experts and civil society groups, to discuss how a road-map for pollution control in the city, which has recently seen strong action from the judiciary to contain its rising air pollution.

CSE’s review of air pollution levels in the city revealed that the time for soft options is over. The city needs second-generation reform to deal with diesel pollution. Kolkata needs a bold action plan to combat its toxic air pollution. It is clear that pollution levels in the city are on the increase and like Delhi, Kolkata, will have to take steps to reduce motorisation, so that it can deal with congestion and pollution. The only option is to reduce the numbers of vehicles - to invest in massive transition to modern public transport.