A GUIDANCE FRAMEWORK FOR CLEAN AND LOW CARBON TRANSPORT IN KOLKATA
Kolkata is in the grip of rising air pollution and multi-pollutant crisis. Official ambient air quality monitoring has shown 61 per cent increase in particulate matter in just four years (2010 to 2013). The levels exceed standards by 2.7 times. NO2 levels exceed by close to two times
The collaborative workshop on Air quality and transportation challenge: An agenda for action in Kolkata was a joint initiative of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, Kolkata and the New Delhi based Centre for Science and Environment. Dialogue held on March 16, 2011 in Kolkata was attended by nearly 300 participants.
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.
By Sayantan Bera
A Briefing Note Serious concern over worsening air quality and traffic congestion in Kolkata Ongoing action must gather momentum, says CSE
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.
Kolkata is on warring path to free its roads from the extremely polluting two-stroke three-wheelers that use a noxious cocktail of dirty and waste fuels as lubricant. The High Court has cracked whip to ensure that its orders to phase out and replace them with cleaner four-stroke three wheelers on clean fuels like LPG are implemented. Kolkata now joins the league of other Indian and Asian cities that have taken similar measures to address the pollution from these vehicles and to ensure that this important inter-mediate public transport are clean.