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 increase. The city will have to take steps to reduce motorisation, so that it can deal with congestion and air toxins. Kolkata has made a beginning to reduce air pollution – its decision to phase out 15-year-old commercial vehicles from plying within the Kolkata Metropolitan Area and to make a transition from old polluting two-stroke engines to cleaner four-stroke engines running on LPG are steps in the right direction. But much more will have to be done. 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. It is important to expand the infrastructure for buses and not cars.

City Facts

Air and mobility facts

Policy Action
First generation action has taken roots. The city has yet to meet the clean air standards. Policy decisions and action so far in the city

Action on vehicles

• The city has introduced Bharat Stage IV norms for vehicles in 2010

• Two-stroke autorickshaws banned

• Selling of pre-mixed 2-T oil made mandatory within Kolkata Metropolitan Area since November 2001.
Ban on supply of loose 2T oil.

• Introduced 50 ppm sulphur fuels

• Up gradation of PUC emission testing centers

• Unleaded petrol introduced since February,.2000.

• Benzene content in petrol reduced to 3 percent from 2001 subsequently to one percent

• Only LPG driven three wheelers are registered in Kolkata since June 2003.

• Petrol blended with 5 percent ethanol mandatory since January 2003.

Action on industry

• Stricter location policy for new industrial units and restriction on setting up of polluting industries in municipal area of Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA)

• Efforts to ensure regulatory compliance for grossly polluting industries

• Introduction of stricter emission standards for boilers, ceramic kilns, foundries and rolling mill of KMA with effect in May 11, 2001

• Mandatory use of clean fuels

• Financial assistance for installation of pollution control devices in small-scale industries etc.

• Regularly complying industries are felicitated with Environmental excellence awards.

• M/s Coal India Ltd. , M/s Eastern Coalfield Ltd., M/s Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. have been requested not to supply coal to the industries which have been ordered to discontinue the use of coal.

• About 67 percent of the coal fired boilers and about 73 percent of the coal fired ceramic kilns have already been converted to oil fired ones.

Source: MOSRTH and Air Quality Trends and Action Plan for Control of Air Pollution from Seventeen Cities, CPCB, 2006


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