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Emission cut praise for city: Kolkata fights air pollution by electrifying government buses

The West Bengal Transport Corporation had in 2019 received a World Bank fund of $250,000 under its Energy Sector Management Assistance Program to combat air pollution in Calcutta through electrification of its fleet

Jayanta Basu | Published 04.10.23, 08:03 AM
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A global report released on Tuesday says Calcutta has reduced more than 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide emission annually by electrifying only 5 per cent of its government buses.

The report — State of Global Air Quality Funding 2023 — has been produced by the UK-based Clean Air Fund, in association with the thinktank Climate Policy Initiative.

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The West Bengal Transport Corporation had in 2019 received a World Bank fund of $250,000 under its Energy Sector Management Assistance Program to combat air pollution in Calcutta through electrification of its fleet.

“Overall, the program demonstrated how replacing just 5% of conventional bus fleets with electric buses could yield an expected reduction in CO2 emissions of 3,094 tons per year, with associated and immediate benefits for air quality and public health in the city. The programme is a successful example of conscious joined-up action on air quality and climate change,” reads the report.

The report points out that “according to the WHO, Calcutta is the… 2nd most polluted city in India (and) as is the case in many developing countries, the main source of pollution in Calcutta is transportation, especially road transport”.

According to the report, the price of an electric bus in Calcutta is over three times that of a diesel bus, but the operational cost is much lower than vehicles powered by the fossil fuel.

Calcutta mayor Firhad Hakim expressed “happiness for the recognition”.

Environment experts, while lauding the recognition, urged the government to bring CNG to the city soon and promote trams and waterways.

Last updated on 04.10.23, 08:05 AM
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